Statements & Announcements
Advancing GSA’s Mission Toward Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – [26 August
Each year, GSA holds a leadership retreat to focus on critical issues for our Society. Such
concentrated time allows for in-depth learning, analysis, and discussion. This year’s retreat, held
on 22-23 August, was focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Our aims were to evaluate
related activities in GSA’s 2019 Decadal Strategic Plan, to amplify our efforts with fresh
perspectives, and to reinforce our commitment to positive change. To achieve these goals, the GSA
Executive Committee and GSA staff were joined by 20 invited diversity leaders in the geosciences.
Helping to guide us through the process was experienced facilitator and expert trainer Dr. Nita
Mosby-Tyler of The Equity Project LLC , whose task it
was to help us identify activities likely to have a measurable and lasting impact.
Priorities identified for improvement during the retreat included four target areas:
- Communication and Transparency
- Mentoring and Support
- Revising the Nominations and Awards Process
- Creating Diversity in Leadership and Meetings Participation
We are distilling the wealth of recommendations and advice from the retreat into obtainable and
impactful goals to be shared soon. These goals will be integrated into our Strategic Plan, alongside
initiatives , activities, and committees focused on DEI efforts.
We, GSA’s president and president-elect, are confident that this will be a successful approach to
addressing issues of equity facing the geosciences and that actionable outcomes will position GSA to
move forward in meeting its goals in the most effective way. Most importantly, we now have a clear
path ahead to better weave DEI efforts into the entire GSA structure, and in so doing, better serve
all of our membership. GSA hopes to lead the geosciences in furthering DEI efforts.
Our path is defined. Next steps include approving goals and metrics at the Council leadership level
for action before GSA 2020 Connects Online in October. Please watch for more to come as
implementation of this critical work gets underway.
Doug Walker, GSA President
Barb Dutrow, GSA President-Elect
Retreat Participants: Sarah Aarons, Nicole Aikin, Hendratta Ali, Beth Bartel, Tahlia Bear, Dick Berg, Todd
Berggren, David Davis, Barbara Dutrow, Rod Ewing, Rebecca Fazzari, Nicole Gasparini, Tom Haberthier,
Jeanette Hammann, Jose Hurtado, Pat Kilner, Mark Little, Susan Lofton, Chris Maples, Debbie
Marcinkowski, Vicki McConnell, Claudia Mora, Allie Nagurney, Nathan Niemi, Tim Shin, Don Siegel,
Wendy Smythe, Nan Stout, Christa Stratton, Marilyn Suiter, Doug Walker, Wes Ward, Lisa White, Kasey
White, and Sherilyn Williams-Stroud.
# # #
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accountability Update – [25 June 2020]
On 1 June, GSA issued a statement affirming our solidarity with our fellow Black, Indigenous, and
People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues and their families in facing injustice. Since then, a lot has
happened inside and outside GSA. GSA supports the changes and initiatives we are seeing within the
geoscience community, such as the notimeforsilence petition, and we’re actively focusing on
improvements within our own organization. GSA Council continues to prioritize diversity, equity, and
inclusion (DEI) because it is the right thing to do and leads to better science. They will be
sharing their ideas and actions. More details and information about DEI in GSA’s Decadal Strategic
Plan can be found here. Join GSA and challenge us to build a more
diverse, respectful, and inclusive space for all science, and scientists, to thrive. As GSA
continues to seek meaningful and robust ways to support DEI initiatives, we encourage our members to
take action and offer suggestions at email@example.com.
Donald I. Siegel, GSA President
J. Douglas Walker, GSA President-Elect
# # #
GSA Statement About Diversity, Ethics & Inclusion – [1 June 2020]
This past week we witnessed a sadly familiar scene in the United States with the senseless death of
George Floyd in Minneapolis. He joins other victims of overt racism and systemic discrimination. We
all feel the pain, anger and sadness of these tragedies, but it is particularly acute for our
African American members, their families, and other People of Color. GSA stands with all of our
colleagues facing these injustices and is committed to challenging and changing the biases that lead
to discriminatory practices against People of Color.
We condemn discrimination and harassment in any form, and are actively working to promote the ideals
and principles of our position statements on Diversity in the Geosciences Community and Removing Barriers to Career Progression for Women in the
Geosciences. GSA's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
gives process to our vision and purpose for representing the best that our science can be.
The pain of recent events motivates us to push harder to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in
the geosciences. Addressing systemic oppression requires both immediate and long-term efforts while
humbly acknowledging that the geosciences remain one of the least diverse academic disciplines in
the sciences. In the weeks and months ahead, GSA leadership will be furthering our efforts toward
building a more diverse, respectful, and inclusive space for all science, and scientists, to thrive.
We ask the GSA membership to join us and to challenge us to make a real difference.
# # #
Earth Day Update from GSA – [22 Apr. 2020]
Happy Earth Day 2020! Who could have guessed that the 50th Anniversary of this celebration of our
favorite subject would find us trapped indoors? Enjoy this 10-second tribute to planet Earth.
For the time being Colorado and Washington, D.C., remain under “stay-at-home” orders, but our staff
is working remotely and fully engaged in moving GSA forward. We have some important announcements to
The North-Central Section meeting planners have elected to transition their Duluth,
Minnesota, meeting to a virtual platform for presentation and participation on 18 and 19
This is a bold experiment for them and for GSA staff, and we salute the session chairs and
speakers who have agreed to lean in to this new way of sharing science. This meeting will be
open to all, and it will be free to register this year. Mentoring sessions and career
workshops will be a part of the total package. We are very pleased to offer this opportunity
to help mitigate the inconveniences of COVID-19. Additional details will be coming soon, so
be sure to visit the GSA North-Central
Section’s 54th Annual Meeting website to learn more.
Opening of the abstract system, housing, and registration for GSA’s 2020 Annual Meeting in
Montréal has been pushed back to 1 July. Our aim is to give everyone involved as much time
as possible to gauge how circumstances are developing with regard to closures, travel
restrictions, and so forth. Please stay tuned.
The GSA Council will be meeting (virtually) this weekend, 25-26 April, to consider a slate of
important initiatives, committee proposals, and the fiscal year 2021 budget. The Geological Society
of America is stable and strong, and we are focused on serving you in the better times ahead even as
we adapt to present difficulties.
We hope that you and your families are healthy, and we thank you for all you are doing for the
GSA Executive Director
# # #
COVID-19 Update from GSA – [17 Mar. 2020]
Dear GSA Members and Friends:
On behalf of the GSA Council and staff, I am sending this message of support and good wishes to all
who are impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The safety and well being of our
communities across the U.S., and the entire globe, are our highest priorities. We are following
precautionary safety measures provided by state and national authorities including the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we want to update you on steps we are taking, recent
programmatic impacts, and how we will communicate future developments as they relate to GSA.
Our goal is to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 as proactively, thoroughly, and thoughtfully as
we can. These decisions are not easy and we understand that we must all do our part to “flatten the
GSA remains open for business on our regular schedule, 8am-5pm Monday through Friday, MDT, with
employees working remotely to respect “social distancing” guidelines. We continue to be responsive
to emails and phone calls from members, partners, and other stakeholders, and are striving to
minimize disruptions. We will update you should anything change on this front.
GSA travel for staff and volunteers has been suspended. Spring leadership meetings will be held
virtually for the protection of all involved. The remaining three regional Section Meetings
scheduled for May have been cancelled, but we are committed to finding innovative ways to continue
delivering programs and services. Watch for updates about virtual options for these meetings.
The opening of abstract submissions, registration, and housing for our Annual Meeting in Montréal
(24-28 October) have been moved back to early June, as we keep a close eye on developments and CDC
recommendations for stemming the pandemic.
We will continue to monitor the latest updates in regard to COVID-19; recognizing that circumstances
are fluid and situations may change quickly. We will all work to be as flexible as possible in
monitoring and adapting our position in this changing environment. Again, we will continue to keep
all our GSA friends and family updated on decisions in the days and weeks ahead.
We encourage all of you to give thoughtful consideration where you can to those who may be most
affected, to support each other in your community, and to keep your spirits up. We are all in this
Vicki McConnell, GSA Executive Director