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Geological Society of America member scientists, students, and colleagues meet in Texas

Boulder, Colorado, USA - Geoscientists from across the south-central U.S. and beyond will convene in Texas on 8-9 March to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the geologic and scenic wonders of the region. Sessions cover the tectonic history of the Trans-Pecos, the Rio Grande, west Texas aquifers, geoarchaeology, petrology, cave processes, and minerals and fossils. Field trips go to Big Bend National Park, including a raft/canoe tour of Colorado Canyon.

Located in the southern foothills of the Davis Mountains, where the Rockies meet the Ouachitas, the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, is ideally situated for the 2012 GSA South-Central Section Meeting celebrating the geology of the region, which includes the stunning Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Davis Mountain State Park.

Symposium: Big Bend National Park and Vicinity: A Decade of Research

Conveners: Don Corrick, Big Bend National Park; Dee Ann Cooper, The University of Texas at Austin; and Roger Cooper, Lamar University.

When: Friday, 9 March, 9 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Where: Sul Ross University, Espino A & B

This special session, open only to meeting registrants, includes presentations on a new and improved fossil exhibit in Big Bend National Park; mysteries of the sixty-one giant Platyceramus platinus (Cretaceous bivalve molluscs) concentrated in a patch along one bedding plane in the Boquillas Formation east of Lajitas, Texas; the proposed connection between storms and microbes in the Del Rio Formation of west Texas; and more. Session details are online at

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is comprised of oral and poster presentations organized into 10 themed sessions plus an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.

Thursday, 8 March:

Water Management for Environmental Restoration Flows in the Big Bend Reach, Rio Grande/Bravo. Authors: Samuel Sandoval Solis of the University of California, Davis and Daene C. McKinney of The University of Texas at Austin. This paper describes a water management policy that can conciliate environmental, human, and international water uses in the Big Bend region.
Abstract:; 9 a.m. noon (session 1, paper 1-1).

Freshwater Mollusks (Pleistocene) from the Lilly McArthur Gregory Mammal Site. Poster presentation; authors: Jessica E. Kilpatrick, Andrea K. Griffith, Brianna Pribyla, and Gloria Carpenter of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. This paper describes the taxonomic identification of freshwater mollusks found at the newly discovered Lilly McArthur Gregory Pleistocene mammal site in Crosby County, Texas, and how these fauna may provide clues about the environmental conditions of this important mammal site.
Abstract:; 9 a.m.noon (session 6, paper 6-3).

Friday, 9 March:

A Historical Perspective on the Search for Paleoindians in the Big Bend. Authors: Robert J. Mallouf and William A. Cloud of Sul Ross State University. This paper sets the stage for the geoarchaeology symposium, highlighting past geoarchaeological work in the Big Bend area.
Abstract:; 1:45 p.m. (session 18, paper 18-1).

Site Formation Processes and Sediment Sources of the Genevieve Lykes Duncan Site. Authors: Brittney Gregory of Cross Roads, Texas, and Charles D. Frederick of The University of Texas at Austin. This paper represents a relatively novel approach to the understanding of sediment sources at the Genevieve Lykes Duncan site, which lies at the confluence of Terlingua Creek and a major tributary.
Abstract:; 2:45 p.m. (session 18, paper 18-4).

Fear and Learning in Big Bend: Is it Safe to Take a Field Trip Down There? Authors: Kevin M. Urbanczyk of Sul Ross State University and Chris Burnett, of The University of Texas at Austin. This paper addresses perceptions of safety risks resulting from border violence that impedes geology field trips to Big Bend National Park by educators and students.
Abstract:; 1:45 p.m. (session 19, paper 19-2).

Find complete meeting information at

Find local contact information at


Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

Working press representing bona fide, recognized news media with a press card, letter or business card from the publication.

Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2011 or 2012.

PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Present media credentials to Beth Engle onsite at the GSA registration desk to obtain a badge for media access. Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Journalists and PIOs must pay regular fees for paid luncheons and any short courses or field trips in which they participate. Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.


Contact: Christa Stratton
Geological Society of America

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