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Upcoming meetings:

  • April 22, 2015
  • May 13, 2015

Previous meeting programs and minutes, 1893-

The 2015 GSW Spring field trip is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2015 and will be a cross section through karst areas of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont to the Great Valley. This trip will start by looking at the intersection between karst and society by examining sinkhole development in the Wakefield Marble near New Market, Maryland, and within the Cambro-Ordovician limestones of the Frederick Valley at Frederick, Maryland. Next, a commercial cave tour of Crystal Grottoes in Boonsboro, Maryland (if possible). Spring-fed tufa, travertine, and marl soil development will be seen at Fairplay, Maryland. Caves and solutional features will be seen along the bluffs of the Potomac River within the C&O Canal National Park at McMahon’s Mill. Finally, karst topography will be discussed in relation to the epic Civil War battle fought at Antietam National Battlefield. 

Trip participants should congregate at the McDonald’s located at the New Market exit 62 off of I-70 in Maryland.  The trip will begin at 9 am and end at Antietam National Battlefield at dusk. Parking is not an issue, so multiple vehicles are permitted. 

Past GSW Field Trips




Meeting Number 1496

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Margaret H. Benoit, The College of New Jersey
Supercontinental scars: Variations in the structure of the deep crust and mantle beneath the Appalachians and mid-Atlantic margin

Callan Bentley, Northern Virginia Community College
GigaPan applications in geological education, research, and outreach

Harvey A. Cohen, S.S. Papadopulos & Associates
The pressure to depressurize: Controlling coastal plain aquifer water levels for construction of the Blue Plains Tunnel terminus

Refreshments at 7:30 PM; Formal program at 8:00 PM
John Wesley Powell Auditorium, 2170 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, DC
(see below for directions)

Meeting flyer to be posted



At present, Article VI, Section 1(a) of the Bylaws reads as follows: "Prospective Members shall submit to the Membership Committee amembership application in a form approved by the Council that must include: (i) approval of three Members of the Society in good standing; (ii) a written statement of the applicant's interest in geological and related sciences; and (iii) the applicant's professional affiliation (although lack of professional affiliation will not be used to make membership decisions)."  

The Council proposes that clause (i) be deleted and the other two clauses be renumbered, so that the revised subsection will read as follows:  "Prospective Members shall submit to the Membership Committee a membership application in a form approved by the Council that must include: (i) a written statement of the applicant's interest in geological and related sciences; and (ii) the applicant's professional affiliation (although lack of professional affiliation will not be used to make membership decisions)."  

This proposed change in the bylaws will not eliminate the vetting of new members, as membership applications will still need to be approved by three members of the Council once submitted.  Eliminating the requirement to have signatures on the application, however, will allow us to offer online membership applications.  The change will be voted on by Members at the regular meeting on May 13.


Information about the Society

The Geological Society of Washington (GSW) was founded in 1893 to promote the increase and dissemination of geological knowledge. GSW provides a forum for geological interchange through a program of regularly scheduled formal talks, informal communications, opportunities to meet colleagues, field trips, and public service. Members represent a wide cross-section of the local geologic community including geoscientists from federal (U.S.Geological Survey, NASA, NSF, military, DOE, EPA) and state government, Congress, Carnegie Institution of Washington, local universities, museums, consulting firms, earth science educators, and others interested in the geological sciences. Guests are welcome.

List of Officers and Committee Chairs
Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws (both revised Dec. 2014)
Directions to Meeting Location (PDF; also available in Word format)

Membership: $40/year ($15 for students)

Membership Application Form available in Word or PDF form to print and mail)

Membership Renewal Form available in Word or PDF form to print and mail)

For further information and inquiries about address changes or your membership status, please call, send mail, or e-mail to:

J. A. Speer
Geological Society of Washington
3635 Concorde Pkwy Suite 500
Chantilly, VA 20151-1125
(703) 652-9950

Speaker Suggestions and Queries: 2014 Program Committee chair: Igor Puchtel

GSW Historical Documents

Search the GSW archives, including meeting minutes (Google search):


Search the GSW databases:

Search for
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text in title
List of
Best Papers

List of
Presidential Addresses

Browse the GSW minutes:

An archive of Secretary's minutes back to the late 1940s is available here.

Anniversary speeches:

Speech by T. W. Stanton on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of GSW in 1943.

Speech by Hugh D. Miser on the occasion of the 800th meeting of GSW in 1959.

GSW founders:

A list of the Founders of GSW is available here. GSW Archivist Jeff Grossman has initiated a Wikipedia entry for GSW, available at

The Centennial History of the Geological Society of Washington tells about the history of Earth Sciences in Washington, D.C. as well as the development new ideas in earth science and the evolution of the U.S. Geological Survey. The 165-page paperback volume contains stories about the intellectual and social life of scientists in Washington, and about the good-natured banter that has always characterized GSW meetings. As one reviewer put it, " Bonhomie has been a feature of the Society". A former Chief geologist of the USGS said, "The best $10 I ever spent!". The price is still $10, and the book can be purchased from:

Geological Society of Washington
3635 Concorde Pkwy Suite 500
Chantilly, VA 20151-1125 
Order by phone: (703) 652-9950

Payment must be prepaid by check (in US dollars drawn on US bank) or money order payable to the Geological Society of Washington (TIN 52-6049239). GSW cannot be responsible for cash sent through the mail. Cost includes postage by surface or book rate. Publications may not be returned for refund or credit. Damaged books will be replaced.


Past Presidents Dinner Before the 2009 Annual Meeting
GSW past presidents at the 2009 dinner
Presidents past (and one future) gathered for dinner before the annual meeting to fete the evening's speaker, current GSW President Bill Burton, hours before he joined their ranks. From left: incoming president Jay Kaufman, John Slack, Dave Stewart, Peter Lyttle, Jane Hammarstrom, Rich Walker, Roz Helz, George Helz, about-to-be-past president Burton, Dave Applegate, Doug Rankin, Nick Woodward, Doug Rumble, Dick Fiske, and Brooks Hanson. Photo by Mary Horan. Click on image for larger version.

Virginia Museum of Natural History field trips: For more information, visit this link.

For information on past GSW field trips, see this page.


Volunteers are needed to lead occasional geology walks for the public out of the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Walks are usually held on Saturday mornings of your choice. If interested, please contact Margo Kingston, USGS Retired, at home (301) 657-8818 or USGS (703) 648-6369. The home email address is preferred.


Kentucky Geological Survey
University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky seeks a Ph.D.-level geoscientist to serve as the Director of the Kentucky Geological Survey in Lexington, Kentucky and the 13th State Geologist of Kentucky. KGS is a research and public service organization with strong programs in energy, water resources, geologic mapping, and geologic hazards. Its location at Kentucky’s flagship university provides a vibrant environment for research collaboration. The Director reports to the UK Vice President for Research. If qualified, the successful candidate can hold a joint appointment as faculty member in Earth and Environmental Sciences. KGS enjoys an excellent reputation within the University, among state agencies it supports, the Kentucky Legislature, and with practicing geologists in the state.

For more information about the position go to:  To apply for this position (requisition # RE00309), submit a UK application online at: Contact HR/Employment for questions at: (859) 257-9555, selection 2.  Application deadline is April 30, 2015, but may be extended as needed.

The University of Kentucky is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from minorities and women.

U.S. Geological Survey Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program. The Mendenhall Program provides opportunities to conduct research in association with selected members of the USGS professional staff. Opportunities for research are available in a wide range of topics. The postdoctoral fellowships are 2-year appointments. Research opportunities are typically announced in July.  Application closing date is in the November-December window. Offers are typically made during February. Appointments will start the following October or later, depending on availability of funds. The program contact is: Dr. Rama K. Kotra,, 703-648-6271.  A description of the program, current or recent research projects or opportunities, and the application process are available at The USGS is an equal opportunity employer.

GSW maintains a roster of potential employers in the fields of geology, geophysics, and associated disciplines in the Washington, D.C. area. To add to this list or announce specific job/post-doc opportunities in our area , contact the GSW webmaster: Callan Bentley.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) and EARTH magazine list available jobs that may be of interest to the earth science community. The American Geological Institute's Geoscience Careers Site has links to job postings and other career-related information.

Other Geoscience Talks in the Area

Callan Bentley maintains a DC Geology Events blog with links to a long list of Places Where Geology Happens in D.C.

The USGS Public Lecture Series holds a regular seminar series at USGS headquarters in Reston that is open to the public.

The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) Baltimore-Washington-Harrisburg Section holds monthly meetings with dinner and a speaker.

The Potomac Geophysical Society meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month from September through May for dinner and a presentation.

The Paleontological Society of Washington usually meets on the third Wednesday of each month, from September though May, for dinner and a talk in the Cooper Room of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington holds public Capital Science Lectures, and both the Geophysical Laboratory and Department of Terrestrial Magnetism hold regular seminars.

Seminar series are held at the University of Maryland Department of Geology (including the Geochemistry seminar series) and the George Washington University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Both the Department of Mineral Sciences and Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History hold series of monthly seminars on a variety of earth science subjects.

The Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration holds monthly talks between September and May.

GSW is a founding society (1898) of the Washington Academy of Sciences, which maintains a calendar of meetings of its 60 member organizations.

In addition, several other area universities and organizations hold geoscience talks. ** If calendars for any of these are available on the web, please let us know and we can add them to this list. **

The Geological Society of Washington thanks the American Geological Institute for providing web hosting.

Please send any comments or questions about this web site to GSW Webmaster Callan Bentley.

Updated January 24, 2013.