A Memorable Gathering of Geoscientists hosted by the GSA International Section
“It was an incredible experience to see so many geologists from all over the world (USA-Madagascar-China) coming to Denver to present their research and celebrate GSA’s 125th anniversary. At this meeting was the first time I learned about the global role that the GSA is playing. I would especially like to thank the GSA International Section for offering me a travel award for this meeting and allowing me to have my dream come true. I am going back to Madagascar with a rich scientific flavor of the meeting and surely I am going to spread the word around to my friends in geology about this society, which many of us are not fully aware of it. The International reception was very cordial and welcoming and gave me a chance to meet my fellow travel grant recipients and share information. I felt I was a part of the connected global community where political boundaries have no meaning and made me believe that geology is global.” The remarks above from Ramihangihajason, Tolotra N (GSA International Section’s 2013 travel award recipient) were echoed by Dr. Burchfiel, the GSA International Section (IS) 2013 Distinguished Career Award recipient who spent well-over five decades overseas conducting research on the origin of mountain belts in relation to their structure and plate-tectonic configuration. Dr. Burchfiel emphasized the need for allowing American geologists to get involved with research investigations overseas and in unfamiliar territory, and to work in close conjunction with a local counterpart in order to achieve optimum results. Dr. Burchfiel felt very concerned about a recent drastic reduction in research allocations and limited U.S. collaboration or involvement with foreign nations. He reminded all of us about the U.S. role in reaching out to overseas geologists in greater numbers, and encouraged such collaboration as part of the GSA’s global mission. Finally his remark “Geology is global and one cannot be separated from the other” left many participants talking about the new frontiers of the geosciences and how we can proceed to create a new generation of geologists to meet the demands of the global society.