• from the GSA President
  • from the General Chair
Suzanne Mahlburg Kay
Suzanne M. Kay


On the occasion of the 125th Anniversary of The Geological Society of America, we invite you to join us at the annual meeting of the Society in Denver, Colorado, USA, from the 27th to 30th of October. We will commemorate the anniversary of the organizational meeting of the Society at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA, on 27 December 1888. At that time, 13 of the 100 prominent geologists who had voted in August 1888 to form a geological society met to formalize the American Geological Society and elect James Hall as the first president. This was followed by the first meeting with technical sessions in 1889, the name was changed to the Geological Society of America, and the decision was made to schedule annual meetings after the summer field season, as is still done today. By the 28–30 December 1932 meeting at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, more than 400 prominent geologists met to listen to scientific presentations, attend a banquet with a presidential address, participate in a “smoker,” go on field trips, and discuss educational and outreach themes.

As in those days, and as the Society has grown to nearly 26,000 members, a primary objective of the GSA remains the organization of an annual meeting at which the most recent advances in the geosciences are celebrated, awards are given, and colleagues join together for scientific discussions and fellowship. At this year’s 125th anniversary meeting, we will particularly emphasize the accomplishments of the geological sciences and the Society over the past 50 years as we look to the future. Some highlights include a record number of technical and Pardee sessions as well as special events such as the presentation of the new symphony, Formations, by the Boulder Philharmonic and a gala black-tie dinner. A 125th anniversary wine and other traditional and special events will also be part of the celebration.

As a Society, we look forward to a future in which GSA members continue to explore and share their understanding of the fundamental questions of the geosciences through curiosity and societally driven research on a national and international level. In this way, we share the goal of also making advances in understanding global resources, geohazards, and the global environment.

Suzanne Mahlburg Kay
     Cornell University

Vince Matthews
Vince Matthews

Welcome to The Mile High City for The 125th Annual Meeting of Our Great Geological Society!

Your colleagues, along with GSA staff and Council, worked hard and creatively to make this the best gathering of geoscientists ever. I hope that you leave Denver with a renewed excitement for your field of interest, renewed friendships with old acquaintances, and new friendships made during our plethora of talks and poster sessions, field trips, workshops, special events, and informal gatherings.

Lon Abbott and Greg Hancock have assembled a diverse and fascinating array of field trips. Dick Berg and Kevin Mickus spent numerous hours putting together our outstanding technical program. Samantha Richards really went all-out to involve teachers in our meeting. I wish that each of you could see, as I have, how hard Jack Hess and his talented staff of professionals work to make conventions run smoothly and effectively for you.

How many meetings have you attended where a symphony has been composed for it? Formations was co-commissioned by GSA and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra in celebration of our milestone anniversary. Learn more.

I am going to descend about a mile in altitude from my home in Leadville to personally welcome you to the great state of Colorado. The state’s fantastic geology is home-away-from-home for myriads of geologists. Students and faculty from across the country are drawn to colorful Colorado to conduct field camps, field trips, and research. Thus, it is fitting that we celebrate a century and a quarter of geological science and fellowship here, just as we celebrated our first century here 25 years ago.

Vince Matthews, Leadville Geology LLC
Local Organizing Committee Chair