Special Sessions

A digital image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai Island in the Kingdom of Tonga.
This digital rendering illustrates the evolution of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai Island in the Kingdom of Tonga from birth (yellow outline of coastline) to present status. Source and more info.

From the Mantle to the Mesosphere: Diversified Approaches Toward Understanding the Cataclysmic January 2022 Eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai Volcano

Endorsers: GSA Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology Division; GSA Geophysics and Geodynamics Division; GSA Geology and Society Division

Advocates: Melissa Scruggs; Frank J. Spera

An animated image shows a timelapse of the Hunga Tonga eruption.
Hunga Tonga eruption timelapse. Source and more info.

The 15 January eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai Volcano was the most powerful volcanic eruption in the past ~30 years, and the first of its kind recorded on modern scientific instruments. Gaining insight into the events surrounding this eruption will require input from researchers in all areas of earth science—from magma origin and transport, eruption dynamics, seismicity, tsunami and atmospheric waves, to evaluating societal impacts. We hope to receive abstracts that will fulfill this subject.

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A. Keith Turner Memorial Session—Unto the Hills: A Career of Advancements in Digital Mapping, Computer Modelling, Environmental Hazards, and the Collaborations Made Along the Way

Endorsers: GSA Environmental and Engineering Geology Division

Advocates: Richard Berg; Harvey Thorleifson; Bryan Turner

This session is to honor the memory of A. Keith Turner and his areas of specialty. Keith helped develop the first computer generated geologic maps, advanced research into environmental and geologic hazard mitigation, and developed techniques related to remote sensing and geologic modelling. In spite of these accomplishments, he felt his greatest professional achievement was listening to and collaborating with researchers from different parts of the world and facilitating open channels of communication with the public. We invite talks in the areas of geologic and environmental engineering, hazard mitigation, landslides and rock falls, 3D digital mapping, and 3D computer modelling.

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Development Status of Non-Petroleum Geologic Energy Resources and Materials for the Energy Transition

Endorsers: GSA Energy Geology Division; AAPG Energy Minerals Division Collaboration

Advocates: Jenna L. Shelton; Marc L. Buursink; Denise J. Hills; Mike Bingle-Davis; Justin E. Birdwell

This session will feature invited oral and poster presentations providing overviews of the state of development of non-petroleum geologic energy resources. Topics to be featured include geothermal energy and geologic hydrogen resources, as well as geologic reservoirs and materials that are necessary for essential alternative-energy infrastructure (e.g., critical minerals for batteries, solar panels, etc.; identification and development of subsurface storage capacity for CO2 and energy gases). The session will feature contributors from the GSA Energy Geology Division, members of several commodity committees from the AAPG Energy Minerals Division, and other speakers.

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The American Geosciences Institute at 75: Implementing a Vision of Sustainability as a Unifying Geoscience Framework

Endorsers: GSA Geology and Society Division; GSA Geoscience Education Division; American Association of Petroleum Geologists; American Institute of Professional Geologists; Association of American State Geologists; Mineralogical Society of America; Society of Exploration Geophysicists; Society of Economic Geologists; Geological Association of Canada; Society for Sedimentary Geology; Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration; GSA Energy Geology Division

Advocates: Jonathan Arthur; Paul Weimer; Jonathan Price; David Wunsch

Join past and present leaders of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and prominent geoscientists across our community as we recognize the 75th Anniversary of the Institute. Speakers will recall motivations that lead to emergence of the Institute, its impacts on the geosciences and society, and look ahead as our profession faces unprecedented transitions in the scope and imperative of the geosciences: who we are, and how we work. Kick-off speakers include:

  • Senator John Hickenlooper (invited)
  • David Applegate (Acting Director, US Geological Survey)
  • Elizabeth Eide (Executive Director for the Division on Earth and Life Studies at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine)
  • Scott Tinker (Director, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology)

AGI was founded to foster the geosciences to support society, including the challenges of the Cold War, expanding the geosciences globally, and recognizing and supporting the health of the discipline. This session will scan the horizon of the geosciences in context of past responses to stress points, the challenges of today, and the opportunity of sustainability serving as a unifying framework for the future of the geosciences.

The day will end with an engaging panel discussion and lengthy Q&A focusing on the vital role of geoscience in sustainability and climate change, filling the K–12 education gap, the future of the workforce, and public geoscience literacy. The panelists include:

  • Karen Berry, State Geologist, Colorado Geological Survey
  • David Curtiss, Executive Director, American Assoc. of Petroleum Geologists
  • Debra Glickson, Board Director, National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
  • Jakob Lindaas, Professional Staff, Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, US House of Representatives
  • Naomi Oreskes, Professor and Author, Harvard University
  • Eric Pyle, Professor, James Madison University
  • Barbara Ransom, Program Director, National Science Foundation

The closing panel is co-moderated by Scott Tinker, State Geologist, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and Jonathan Arthur, Executive Director, American Geosciences Institute.

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