Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America, Inc. (American Geological Society, Abbreviation: GSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the geosciences prescribed. The company was founded in 1888 in Ithaca, New York County by James Hall, James Dwight Dana and Alexander Winchell as an offshoot of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Since 1968, their headquarters is located in Boulder (Colorado). She has more than 21,000 members in over 85 countries (as of 2007 ) and has six regional associations in North America and 17 specialized departments.

Objectives and Activities

The objectives are the promotion of Geosciences, supporting the professional careers of its members, and the support of earth sciences for the benefit of mankind ( " ... to advance the geosciences, to Enhance the professional growth of its 21,500 members, and to promote the geosciences in the service of humanity. " ) the main activities are in the financial support of geoscientific conferences and the publication of geoscientific literature. The company publishes three magazines (GSA Today, GSA Bulletin and Geology ) and the online magazine Geosphere. The monthly journal GSA Today is freely available online. Early 2009 the journal Lithosphere appear, which will deal mainly with tectonic processes in the Earth's crust and the upper mantle and will illuminate research in this field.

Members meet for the General Meeting once a year in different places. 2007 the Annual General Meeting held in Denver, Colorado. The next general meeting will 2008 in Houston, Texas, will be held in Denver and 2011 in Minneapolis 2010 2009 in Portland (Oregon ). The meetings include presentations and discussions on the geology and also be attended by non-members as students, businesses and members of other geological organizations.

The GSA awards as recognition of merit in the field of Earth Sciences awards the Penrose Medal, the GK Gilbert Award and the Arthur L. Day Medal.


The GSA began with 100 members under its first president, the paleontologist James Hall. During the next 43 years its membership grew steadily up to 600 people. 1931 yielded a donation of $ 4,000,000 of the 1930 Chairman- Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose, Jr. a crucial promotion, and led to a rapid growth of the GSA.

After its establishment, the Geological Society of America following the Chairman had in the first 10 years:

The last ten Chairman until 2006 were:

  • George Albert Thompson 1997
  • Victor R. Baker 1998
  • Gail M. Ashley 1999
  • Mary Lou Zoback 2000
  • Sharon Mosher 2001
  • Anthony James Naldrett 2002
  • Burrel Clark Burchfiel 2003
  • Rob Van der Voo 2004
  • William A. Thomas 2005
  • Stephen G. Wells 2006