Geological Society of America Announces 2020–2021 Officers and Councilors

Boulder, Colo., USA: J. Douglas Walker, Union Pacific Resources Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas–Lawrence, has assumed the role of president of The Geological Society of America as of 1 July 2020. Walker received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests are in the integration of tectonics, geochronology, and geoinformatics to better understand the geologic development of contractile and extensional systems.

The incoming president-elect is Barbara L. Dutrow, Gerald Cire and Lena Grand Williams Alumni Professor, Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge.

Rounding out the new executive committee are immediate past president Donald I. Siegel, Syracuse University; returning treasurer Richard C. Berg, Illinois State Geological Survey; and Council member-at-large Nathan Niemi, University of Michigan.

“I am really looking forward to serving as president of GSA. This is a time of challenges and changes for members and the society as a whole. I think all of us who end up in academics and all geosciences get there partly because we embrace challenges, so I am anxious to get to work. I hope that I can make a difference and move GSA forward.”

Walker will deliver his presidential address during the GSA’s 2020 Connects Online annual meeting in October. He will speak on a topic that is particularly relevant to our COVID-19 reality: “Doing geology in an online world.” The event will be open to all meeting attendees, and members of the media are invited to attend.

Along with confirmation of ballot results at its April meeting, GSA Council approved new members and Fellows, the GSA medalists and awardees, the FY21 budgets, and set forth its priorities for the coming year and beyond. Here are a selected few notable actions:

• GSA Council endorsed recommendations to make virtual options a key part of future GSA meetings, beginning with the 2020 annual meeting, and recognized this as an essential element of credible, professional organizations in the post-COVID future.

• Council approved the recommendation of the ad hoc Campus Vision Committee after an exhaustive review of options for the sound management of the GSA headquarters campus. The decision was made to list the Boulder property for sale in view of its aging condition and lease more efficient and accommodating space along the Denver–Boulder corridor in Colorado.

• Council approved a plan to partner with the GSA Foundation on an initiative, GSA CARES, to provide emergency funding in support of student members who could demonstrate educational and career setbacks due to circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• In keeping with its ongoing commitment to ethics and inclusion, Council approved a recommendation from the Committee on Diversity in the Geosciences to prohibit alcohol being served in the oral and poster session areas at all GSA meetings and events.

Newly-elected Councilors serving four-year terms from 1 July 2020–30 June 2024:

Madeline E. Schreiber, Professor, Dept. of Geosciences, Virginia Tech;

Susan G. Stover, P.G., outreach manager emerita, Kansas Geological Survey, Consultant;

Manfred R. Strecker, Professor, Dept. of Geosciences, Universiät Potsdam, Germany.

Information about the full GSA Council is online.

GSA Executive Director Vicki S. McConnell welcomed the new Officers and Councilors, saying, “The entire staff looks forward to working together with this accomplished group to meet the challenges ahead and to implement the plans they’ve laid out.”

The Geological Society of America serves members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.


For Immediate Release
30 June 2020
GSA Release No. 20-20

Christa Stratton

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