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2022 Best Papers & Awards

At the 7 December annual meeting, the Bradley Best paper was awarded to Brent Goehring (Tulane University) for Holocene Glacier Length. Variations along the Spine of the American Cordillera. Confirming Hypotheses and Worrisome Trends. The Best paper is awarded $200. The runner-up for the Best Paper was awarded to Jan Hellman (UMD) for Fractionation and Mixing Processes in the Early Solar System inferred from Tellurium Isotope Variations in Chondrites. The runner-up paper is awarded $100. The best informal communication was from Kadie Bennis (NMNH) for a presentation on the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption. The best informal communication is awarded $50. The Sleeping Bear award goes to Steve Shirey.

GSW meeting 1583: minutes for members to evaluate

Take a look at these minutes from our Nov. 16 meeting, and let our meeting secretary, Beth Doyle, know if you see anything that needs to be added or changed.

GSW Presidential address & Business meeting (7 Dec @ 8 PM, AGU, 2000 Florida Av)

This year, unlike many previous years, we will be having our Presidential address & Business meeting at AGU Headquarters (2000 Florida Av, DC), and concurrently on Zoom. Our current president, Dr. Lawrence D. Meinert, will talk on ‘Exploration for Skarn Deposits – If Sherlock Holmes had been a Geologist’., Questions will not be entertained after Dr. Meinert’s talk, and the meeting will briefly adjourn. The annual business meeting of GSW members will then commence, with reports on our financial health and from other committees, and presentation of our annual awards. Then we will vote on the slate of officers (see below) for next year. When you come to AGU for the meetings (don’t go to the Cosmos Club!) please bring along your forehead for a temperature test, and also bring a record of your Covid-19 vaccinations. AGU will provide some snacks and drinks to tide us over. The doors to AGU Headquarters will open by 7 PM so that we can socialize before the meeting. Some previous GSW presidents will be taking Larry to dinner at the Cosmos Club before his Presidential address. Members will shortly receive the invitation for the meetings, and the Zoom link. Non-members are welcome to attend the Presidential address. If you don’t have the Zoom link, please contact Mike Ackerson for the details.

Proposed slate of officers for 2023

1st Vice President:              Dan Doctor (USGS)

2nd Vice President:             Ved Lekic (UMD)

Treasurer:                           Mark Fuhrmann

Meeting Secretary:              Graham Lederer (USGS)

Council Secretary:               Beth Doyle (NVCC)

Council Members

Ioan Lascu                            (NMNH Smithsonian)

Jonathan Tucker                 (NASEM)

MaryAnn Maliconico            (Lafayette U)

The minutes of the Bradley meeting are available for perusal.

Please let our meeting secretary, Beth Doyle, know if there are any corrections. The minutes are here.

Our 16 Nov (Wed) evening meeting will be virtual only

And will feature three talks. Learn about the evolution of life and climate with U-Pb geochronology in the early Paleozoic/EoCambrian (Nelson, Carleton Univ); about global climate in South Africa during the Karoo igneous events of the early Mesozoic (Gaynor, Princeton University); and a cautionary tale about inferring ancient temperatures from distributions of quartz with rutile (Tailby, American Museum of Nat. History, NYC). The meeting will be carried live on Zoom beginning at 8 PM on 16 Nov. Meet up with friends and colleagues beginning at 7:30. Members will shortly receive an invitation with the Zoom information. Non-members are encouraged to attend. Contact Michael Ackerson (ackersonm[at] for the Zoom link if you do not have it. Here are the Blurbs, and Biographies.

Dr. John Mather will present the GSW Bradley lecture at 8 PM on Wed, Oct. 19 at the American Geophysical Union in DC

We are pleased to announce that John Mather will present the annual Bradley Lecture of the Geological Society of Washington (GSW) this year, titled ‘Opening the Infrared Treasure Chest with JWST (James Webb Space Telescope)’. Please join us for this hybrid event (Zoom and in-person) at the AGU Headquarters at 2000 Florida Av NW, DC.  If you are joining us in-person, please bring your Covid vaccination card and corresponding ID. It will be checked before admission to the building.

The JWST, a great golden eye in the sky, is seeing farther back in time, farther out in space, and deeper into the dusty clouds where stars are being born today. Launched on Dec. 25, 2021, the observatory is performing beautifully, thanks to 20,000 technicians, engineers, scientists and computer scientists who built it, tested it, launched it, commissioned it, and are now using it. The JWST takes images and spectra over the wavelength range from 0.6 µm (red) to 28 µm (thermal infrared). We have stunning photos and already some startling discoveries: the first galaxies grew much more quickly than astronomers expected. Soon we hope to know if small planets around small red stars (M dwarf class) have atmospheres and perhaps water. Dr. Mather will describe what it took to build and launch the telescope, show the latest images, and talk about what comes next.

Dr. Mather is the Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The JWST will extend the discoveries of the great Hubble space telescope, reaching farther back in time, farther out into space, to show us how the expanding universe led to galaxies, stars, planets and the possibility for life on our tiny Earth. As a 28-year old postdoc Dr. Mather led the effort to propose the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (COBE), and then served as its Project Scientist, leading the COBE team to success and to the Nobel Prize in Physics (2006). The COBE measurements started the era of precision cosmology, confirming the expanding universe theory to extraordinary accuracy. Dr. Mather speaks widely on the history of the universe and the astonishing possibilities of our shared future.

GSW Meeting 1581: Draft of minutes for members to evaluate

The draft minutes of our last meeting, on 28 Sept 2022, are attached for members to evaluate. If you have any additions or corrections please email them to our meeting secretary, Beth Doyle, at edoyle[at]

GSW meeting 1580: Draft of minutes for members to evaluate

The draft minutes of our last meeting, on 14 Sept 2022, are attached for members to evaluate. If you have any additions or corrections please email them to our meeting secretary, Beth Doyle, at edoyle[at]

Next GSW meeting (Sep 28) at the Cosmos Club will include a talk from the new US Geological Survey Director, Dr. David Applegate

We will have a full slate of three talks. Join us to learn about climate change & air pollution, solar geoengineering, and the role of the US Geological Survey from its new director. Abstracts for the talks are here. Non members are always welcome, and there is no formal dress code for the audience. Details of the talk, including the Zoom link, will be sent to members shortly. Contact Michael Ackerson (ackersonm[at] for the Zoom link if you do not have it.

Announcement of UMD lecture

The University of Maryland Department of Geology cordially invites you to the ‘George and Rosalind Helz Distinguished Lecture in Geology’ on ‘How Fracking affects our Water’ given by Susan L. Brantley on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 6 PM at the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center (ESJ) Room 0202. If you have a question about this event, please contact Wenlu Zhu at or 301.405.1831. A pdf more fully describing the event is located here.