Shale gas production: Views from the energy roller coaster

Boulder, Colorado, USA – Geoscientists from the Northeastern and North-Central U.S. and beyond will convene in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 19-21 March to discuss hot-topic science, expand on current findings, and explore the region's unique geologic features. This event is expected to draw more than 900 attendees from a variety of geoscience disciplines. Highlights include a showing of "Holocaust Escape Tunnel" and a talk by Michelle Wyman, Executive Director of the National Council for Science and the Environment.

Special premiere: "Holocaust Escape Tunnel." Created for the PBS series Nova, this film chronicles an international team of archaeologists and scientists trying to recover the lost world of World-War-II-era Vilnius, Lithuania. They excavate the remains of its Great Synagogue and uncover one of Vilnius's greatest secrets: a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a horrific Nazi execution site. The premiere is on Sunday, 19 March, at 7 p.m., in the Omni William Penn Hotel Allegheny Room (17th floor). The public is invited.

Featured speaker: Michelle Wyman, Executive Director of the National Council for Science and the Environment, "Energy and the Environment." 8 p.m., Monday, 20 March, Omni William Penn Hotel, Urban Room.

Field Guide: Forts, Floods, and Periglacial Features: Exploring the Pittsburgh Low Plateau and Upper Youghiogheny Basin, edited by Joseph T. Hannibal and Kyle C. Fredrick. This volume details three one-day trips set to take place before and during the meeting.

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into 49 themed sessions plus an array of research in general discipline areas.

History of Geology and Anthropocene
Sunday, 19 March, 8 a.m.

Session Highlights

    * Earthquakes and History: How Arguments over History Play out in Arguments over Shale. Contact: Conevery Bolton Valencius, Dept. of History, Boston College, [email protected]

    * Fracking Films. Contact: Brian Frehner, University of Missouri, Kansas City, [email protected]

    * The Geologic Anthropocene: Analysis and Current Status. Contact: Martin J. Head, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Brock University, [email protected]

There's an App for That: Using Technology Developments, Innovations, Resources, and Applications to Enhance Undergraduate Geoscience Education
Sunday, 19 March, 1:30 p.m.

Session Highlights:

    * Engaging Students on the Electronic Platform. Contact: C. Renee Sparks, Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies, Calvin College, [email protected]

    * Self-Guided Class Field Trips using the Flyover Country Mobile App Could Help Students with Restrictive Schedules See Rocks Anyway. Contact Amy Myrbo, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota, [email protected]

    * "Take a (Geologic) Journey around Pennsylvania." Contact: Joseph F. Reese, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, [email protected]

View the complete session schedule by day or search the program by keywords at

Meeting website:


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 2016 or 2017.

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

Present media credentials to William Cox 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.

For additional information and assistance, contact Christa Stratton, GSA Director of Communications, at the address above.


The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.

Media Contact

Christa Stratton
[email protected]