Special Lectures

Special Lectures

Public Lecture | Gold Medal Lectures | Subaru Outdoor Life Lecture
Lunchtime Lectures: SUN | MON | TUE | WED

Public Lecture

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Saturday, 26 October, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m.
Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB

For the Love of Nature: Bridging the Human-Nature Divide in the 21st Century

Today humans are plugging into an increasingly electronic world while becoming more and more alienated from the nature that surrounds them. This rampant “de-naturing,” which now threatens the health of people and the places they live, is one of the most pressing and overlooked crises of our time. In the 21st Century, how do we broker a new human-nature relationship, one that embraces both technology and the natural world?

In this presentation brought to you by the Geological Society of America and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Scott Sampson charts a pathway toward a nature-rich future. Key elements of this journey include abundant, outdoor, multisensory experience combined with nature literacy tied to local place. Sampson proposes that it is through the lens of place-based understanding that the earth sciences play an essential role, contributing to a deep time story that encompasses stars, planets, life, and us.
About Scott Sampson

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Scott Sampson is a dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science communicator. After receiving his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Toronto in 1993, he spent a year working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, followed by five years as assistant professor of anatomy at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine on Long Island. From 1999-2007, he held a dual position with the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah, serving for the last several years of that period as chief curator and associate professor, respectively. He presently serves as vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Most of Sampson’s research has focused on the ecology and evolution of Cretaceous dinosaurs, and he has conducted fieldwork in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Madagascar, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. He has published numerous scientific and popular articles, and has lectured extensively to audiences of all ages on many topics, including paleontology, evolution, and connecting people with nature. Sampson was the primary scientific consultant and on-air host of the four-part Discovery Channel series Dinosaur Planet. He is presently serving the same pair of roles for the hit PBS KIDS television series Dinosaur Train, produced by the Jim Henson Company. Sampson is author of the general audience book, Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life (University of California Press, 2009), and is now writing a book about how to foster a connection with nature in children.



Steven M. Stanley Richard W. Carlson Naomi E. Levin
Steven M. Stanley
(Penrose Medal)
Richard W. Carlson
(Day Medal)
Naomi E. Levin
(Donath Medal)

Mon., 28 Oct., 2–3:30 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB

All are welcome

No reservations, tickets, or meeting registration required.

GSA continues the celebration with up-close and personal lectures by our three gold medalists. Each will present a 20-minute talk reflecting their scientific careers:

2-2:30pm - Levin: “Stories from the Field
2:30-3pm - Carlson: “Understanding Earth
3-3:30pm - Stanley: “Living in the Past for Half a Century: From Paleontology to Paleobiology to Geobiology


Subaru Outdoor Life Lecture


Mon., 28 Oct., 6:30–7:30 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 205

Dorothy (Dottie) M. Metcalf-Lindenburger
Geology from 200 Miles Up to 65 Feet Below

Dorothy (Dottie) M. Metcalf-Lindenburger

In April of 2010, Colorado native Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger served as a mission specialist on Discovery flight STS-131 to the International Space Station. She had the terrific opportunity to see Earth from a very different perspective and will discuss what she saw and what personal connections she made from that vantage point. As part of the mission, Discovery delivered a module filled with science racks that were transferred to laboratories on the International Space Station. Metcalf-Lindenburger will discuss the earth-science research that is ongoing from there. Additionally, she’ll talk about the analog program, NASA Extreme Environment Missions Operations (NEEMO), for which she served as a commander in the summer of 2012, and how it ties into future exploration in the Solar System.



Every day from noon to 1 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB.
Bring your lunch and listen and learn.


GSA Presidential Address and Presentation of the President’s Medal

All are welcome

No reservations, tickets, or meeting registration are required to attend.

Suzanne M. Kay
Please join us Sunday when GSA President Suzanne M. Kay gives her Presidential Address:
“125th Anniversary of the Geological Society of America: Looking at the Past and into the Future.”

President's Medal Edward Burtynsky

Presentation of the President’s Medal

Following Kay's address, Past President George H. Davis will present the President’s Medal to Edward Burtynsky, photographer and artist, who is known for his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes.

Take a short break — then come see Burtynsky's film "Manufactured Landscapes," at 2 p.m. No registration or tickets required.



Noon–1 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB

GSA Awards Ceremony

GSA Medals

Please join GSA President Suzanne Mahlburg Kay and GSA Vice President/President-Elect Harry (Hap) McSween to honor and greet the GSA medal and award recipients for 2013. Brief citations and responses for the 2013 recipients of the Penrose Medal, the Arthur L. Day Medal, the Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal), the GSA Public Service Award Medal, the GSA Distinguished Service Award, The Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Awardee, The Bromery Award for the Minorities, and the American Geological Institute (AGI) Medal in memory of Ian Campbell will be presented. The John C. Frye Environmental Geology Awardee, the ExxonMobil Field Camp Awardee, the GSA Division awardees, the International Section’s Honorary Fellow, and the newly elected GSA Fellows will also be recognized.

All are welcome; no reservations, tickets, or meeting registrations are required to attend.



Noon–1 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB

John Hickenlooper

2013 Michel T. Halbouty Lecture

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will deliver a lecture on the topic of his choice. Hickenlooper was a petroleum geologist prior to opening the first microbrew pub in Denver, and he served two terms as mayor of Denver before becoming Colorado’s governor in 2011.

John Hickenlooper calls himself a recovering geologist who once owned a brewpub and was goaded into running for mayor of Denver in 2003. He spent nearly eight years at City Hall before he became governor of Colorado in 2011. Hickenlooper and his team at the state Capitol are working hard to promote an all-the-above energy policy that balances pursuit of Colorado’s abundance of natural resources with preserving the natural beauty that attracts so many people to the state. Please join us in welcoming Gov. John Hickenlooper.


Vince Matthews


Noon–1 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB

The Global Scramble for Natural Resources

Vince Matthews was appointed State Geologist and Director of the Colorado Geological Survey in March 2004. After spending twenty years in the natural resources industry, he returned to academia in 1997 and then joined CGS in 2000. Part of his experience in the natural resources industry included responsibility for coal, lime, and limestone activities in New Jersey, Virginia, and Tennessee. He is the author of more than 50 technical articles and abstracts and was senior editor of the multiple, award-winning publication, Messages in Stone: Colorado’s Colorful Geology. (Note: Brad Udall was originally scheduled to speak at this Lunchtime Lecture but had to cancel.)