Thompson Field Forums

Thompson Field Forums

Thompson Field Forums are named in honor of James B. Thompson, Jr., a GSA benefactor and professor emeritus at both Harvard and Dartmouth.

Upcoming Field Forums

Age and Carving of Grand Canyon: Towards a Resolution of 150 Years of Debate
Grand Canyon, USA
14–21 September 2019

Propose a Field Forum

Field Safety Guidelines

Past Field Forums

Field Forum trips provide an informal atmosphere to

  • Capture the essence of discoveries or controversial topics via on-the-spot discussion of a particular geologic feature;
  • Exchange current knowledge and exciting ideas; and
  • Stimulate individual and collaborative research.

Topics should

  • Have a specific thematic focus;
  • Be geographically oriented;
  • Have a potential for further significant advances; and
  • Be under current investigation and active discussion.


  • Groups should be small enough (20 people min.) that all participants can examine the outcrops;
  • Groups should be large enough (40 people max.) to provide diversity and depth;
  • Length: Five or more days;
  • Participants are expected to attend the entire field trip;
  • Time spend indoors for discussion, etc., should make up no more than 20% of the forum;
  • Location: Conferences can be held anywhere, but logistics and costs could be problematic for forums held outside North America; and
  • Conference announcements will be featured in GSA Today and GSA Connection.