GSA Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony

Navigating "Me, too" in the Geosciences

Sunday, noon - 1:30 p.m., ICC, Sagamore Ballroom 5

Robbie Rice GriesRobbie Rice Gries

GSA Presidential Address

We have seen the “Me, too!” movement expand across all aspects of humankind. From Hollywood where it grew legs, to Congress, state legislatures, the White House, to huge corporations, small businesses, sports, television personalities, the military, the Olympics, and, yes … to GSA.

Before Harvey Weinstein, before something hit the proverbial fan—GSA was already receiving and addressing complaints from members who experienced harassment (ranging from bullying to sexual assault) at GSA functions and in their professional lives. We launched a review of our ethics position, our obligations, and our code of conduct to ensure our Society had the ability to effectively deal with unprofessional behavior at GSA meetings, field trips, and other sanctioned events. Recognizing our lack of good definitions and effective procedures, GSA’s initiative was timely, and good strides have been made for our Society to appropriately deal with these types of inappropriate actions. We can take “proactive measures.”

I believe people in the sciences have some excellent skills to address harassment, prejudice, and gender issues. We have the scientific skills and intellect to address many societal problems, and we are good at it. We use data, published studies, field trips, and in-depth conversations with experts in our disciplines to advance our knowledge. We prime the creative pumps of our minds with these actions and techniques to find science-based solutions to nagging problems. This is second nature to the professional geoscientist.

What is not second nature to all of us is how to employ these skills, techniques, use of experts, and data-gathering abilities in our interpersonal relationships, including our interactions with colleagues, staff, students, and families. But we can. And this can make a bigger difference.

Let’s look at historic, sometimes reprehensible behaviors demonstrated by geoscientists, changes that have already been made to counter this behavior, statistics about harassment by scientists today, and possibilities for advancing our science through advances in interpersonal skills and behaviors.


This lecture will be live-streamed from the event.
It includes Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) technology (real time captioning).

GSA Awards Ceremony

Sunday, noon - 1:30 p.m., ICC, Sagamore Ballroom 5

Please join GSA President Robbie Rice Gries and GSA Vice President/President-Elect Donald I. Siegel to honor and greet the 2018 GSA Medal & Award recipients and Newly Elected Fellows.

At this year’s combined event, Gries will deliver her Presidential Address followed by Vicki McConnell, Executive Director of GSA, who will provide a presentation on the state of the Society, and Jack Hess will provide a GSA Foundation update. All are welcome; no reservations, tickets, or meeting registration required.

Feed Your BrainThe Presidential Address & Awards Ceremony is part of the Feed Your Brain series. Enjoy Lunchtime Enlightenment each day with these fantastic speakers as you nourish your body and mind.

Get to know the Penrose, Day, Donath, and President's medalists at the Gold Medal Lectures:

Penrose Medal
Kent Condie, GSA’s 2018 Penrose Medal recipient, will discuss “The Evolution of Plate Tectonics on Planet Earth: Two Lithospheric Transitions in the Last 4 Gyr,” in session no. 146: P3. Plate Tectonics Paradigm 50 Years after the Seminal Work of Morgan, Mckenzie, and Le Pichon, at the Indiana Convention Center, Sagamore Ballroom 5, on Tues., 6 Nov., 9:05–9:25 a.m.

Arthur L. Day Medal
Jay Quade, GSA’s 2018 Arthur L. Day Medal recipient, will discuss the “Geology and Paleoenvironments of the Pliocene–Pleistocene Galili Formation, Ethiopia,” in session no. 223: P4. Human Evolution and Environmental History in Africa: 25 Years of Transformative Research, at the Indiana Convention Center, Sagamore Ballroom 5, on Wed., 7 Nov., 11:45–noon.

Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal)
Laurel G. Larsen, GSA’s 2018 Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) recipient, will speak on “Peering through the Web of Complexity Without Getting Caught: How Tools from Complex-Systems Theory Help Identify Dominant Drivers and Feedbacks of Curiously Behaving Aquatic Landscapes,” in session no. 206: T48. Fluvial Processes from Catchments to Coastlines, at the Indiana Convention Center, Room 135, on Tues., 6 Nov., 1:35–1:55 p.m.

President’s Medal Lecture
Iain Stewart, GSA’s 2018 President’s Medal recipient, will discuss “Selling the Earth: Communicating Contested Geoscience to Public Audiences,” in session no. 211: T78. Barriers, Misconceptions, and Progress in Improving Climate Literacy and Strategies for Communicating about Climate Change, at the Indiana Convention Center, Room 234, on Tues., 6 Nov., 1:40–2 p.m.