Special Lectures

Special Lectures

Attend these special lectures and engage with big ideas in geoscience.

Presidential Address

Sunday, 15 Oct., Noon–1:30 p.m.

Christopher (Chuck) Bailey

Geoscience at the Confluence

Christopher (Chuck) Bailey, GSA President (July 2023–June 2024)


The 2023 GSA Connects meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, occurs at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which come together to become the mighty Ohio River. Using confluence as a metaphor, the Presidential address will place the geosciences at the confluence of time and place. This wide-ranging talk will highlight the joy of discovery in geoscience research and its relevance for understanding our home planet and the future.

Watch the Presidential Address


2023 Michel T. Halbouty Distinguished Lecture

Tuesday, 17 Oct., 12:15–1:15 p.m.

Susan L. Brantley

How Fracking Affects Our Water

Susan L. Brantley, 2023 Michel T. Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer


“Fracking” of horizontal layers of shale at great depths has ushered in a new era of energy development in the USA. At the same time, shale-gas development has impacted water quality in some locations. In the mid-2000s, public outcry about “fracking” and water quality reached a fever pitch. Today, the pushback continues but is more muted. In this talk I will look at what has been learned over the last two decades about water impacts related to shale gas development (including fracking), with emphasis on both geospatial analysis as well as case studies. Much of this talk will focus on Pennsylvania, a state with the longest history of commercial oil extraction in the world, but some observations will also be made about the national situation. Government, universities, and private industry must work more closely with communities to document impacts and understand case examples of water contamination. Only with such approaches will geologists and hydrogeochemists enable the public to make educated decisions about the “social license” for the industry at the same time that our practitioners learn to understand the public’s viewpoint on this distributed industry.