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Category : GSA SGD

Posted : Monday, March 29, 2021
Edited By : Rebekah Grmela
Monday, March 29, 2021

GSA Sedimentary Geology Division Update for SEPM

Rebekah Grmela

As we shift away from SEPM and partner announcements in The Sedimentary Record, we'll continue to share important details about our organization and the sedgeo world on our blog. Read below to get a full look at the The Geological Society of America's latest update from the Geology Division! You may also access the full issue here: Spring 2021 SGD Newsletter.pdf


Above: 2019 Sloss Awardee and former SGD Chair Margie Chan discussing the pro-delta deposits of the Panther Tongue Sandstone near Helper, UT with a group of StraboStrat beta testers. Hopefully, field outings like this can be back on our calendars soon!Above: 2019 Sloss Awardee and former SGD Chair Margie Chan discussing the pro-delta deposits of the Panther Tongue Sandstone near Helper, UT with a group of StraboStrat beta testers. Hopefully, field outings like this can be back on our calendars soon!

As much of what was novel and unfamiliar during 2020 –social distancing, masking up and running meetings via video conferencing – has become part of our norm, we look ahead to better days are on the horizon! The COVID pandemic still impacts our daily lives, as many in the U.S. and around the world still grapple with the disease itself and the economic impacts it triggered. Yet it seems realistic to make plans for gathering around an outcrop, a box of core, a microscope or even a poster presentation in the not-too-far off future. This is a welcome glimmer of hope!

I will be rotating into the Past Chair position at the GSA 2021 meeting, and certainly my experience as Chair from 2019-2021 was beyond my wildest imaginations! Our Student Representative Anthony Edgington is concluding his term with SGD in 2021– thank you so much for your work Anthony! We look forward to seeing him in future GSA meetings as he continues to pursue his interests in sedimentary geology. Brian Hampton will assume the Chair position this fall, and we will work together with the rest of the board to carry our lessons from the pandemic forward, as we consider new ways of interacting, communicating our science and supporting community around a shared passion for sediments and strata. 

As sedimentary geologists, we are all very familiar with using the present to understand the past, but also using the past to better understand and be prepared for the future. We recognize that online venues made our events more broadly accessible, and we plan to perpetuate those practices in our future events. Similarly, the imperative to address racial injustice in our scientific, professional and personal lives remains vital as our community emerges from the COVID chaos of the past year. Our future must include direct actions that address these critical challenges within our division and within GSA as a whole. I look forward to continuing work on these efforts this year and in years to come, and I hope you are inspired to do the same. 

Join the SGD Board!

We are recruiting! Are you excited to carry out the work of fueling community growth and improvement in sedimentary geology and GSA? We seek sed-heads to join our board to fill the following roles:

  • Vice Chair: the primary function of the Vice Chair assists in planning logistics for division activities at the annual meeting along with participating in regular board meetings.
  • Diversity Coordinator: this is a new position. We envision this person will work with our webmaster, Stefania Laronga, to maintain resources on diversity and inclusion on our web page and discussion board, develop synergy with GSA's On to the Future program to promote inclusive practices and diversify membership in the division activities
  • Student Representative: student representatives organize and run division activities on our social media accounts and participate in board meetings to provide input and feedback on student perspectives.

We would love for you to join us! If you have any questions about these roles, feel free to reach out to Look for calls for candidates in your inbox in the coming weeks and respond if you are interested in serving.

GSA Connects 2021

Connects 2021

Following up on the 2020 Annual Meeting held fully online during the COVID-19 pandemic, GSA is currently planning for an in-person meeting October 10-13 in Portland, however this meeting may transition to an online event if public health conditions dictate. You can keep appraised of the situation by checking up on the meeting planning website:

The abstract deadline is 20 July, at which time it should be clear if an in-person or fully online event will be held. Keep an eye out for travel grant applications that should be out by early June! And in August, the student volunteer program will open, so be sure to mark your calendars!

The Sedimentary Geology Division will be sponsoring a number of sessions; we will be promoting them all via our social media once the finalized program is announced. Note our annual division student research poster competition co-sponsored by SEPM will again take place at the meeting – look for this poster session listed in the abstract submission site:

T103. Sedimentary Geology Division/SEPM Student Research Poster Competition: Dynamics of Stratigraphy and Sedimentation”

We will again hold a Joint Awards Session with SEPM during the GSA Connects meeting. This event is being planned for Tuesday October 12 from 5-7:00 PM Pacific Time. Announcement with more details will be made once it is clear if the GSA meeting will be held in-person or online. 

2020 GSA Sedimentary Geology Division & SEPM Awards Celebration

Our online celebration was well attended, and provided the opportunity for everyone to share in recognizing our many awardees, which are summarized below. A recording of the event is available on YouTube:

Laurence L. Sloss Award

Dr. Carlton Brett (University of Cincinnati) received the 2020 Laurence L. Sloss Award for Sedimentary Geology, and he shared a presentation that describe his early interests in sedimentary geology and the arc of his long and productive career that has resulted in numerous contributions to sedimentary geology: >300 papers published on sedimentary geology, >50 graduate student mentees and hundreds of undergraduate students mentees! He has been a consistent and vital contributor to the numerous  operations of GSA that support sedimentary geology (session chairs at meetings, reviewer and editor of manuscripts, etc.). 

For our socially-distanced celebration Carl shared the stories and lessons learned along his journey that is captured in the latter part of the Awards Ceremony – a few key screenshots are included below. His review of his accomplishments was entertaining, insightful and touching. We thank you for all of your work! Congratulations Carl!

Above: Dr. Carlton Brett early career included studying the Devonian strata that form cliffs around the Lake Erie region.
Above: Dr. Carlton Brett and a subsample of the many students who have benefited from his teaching and mentorship.

Student Research Award Recipient

We recognized Jessica Raff of Vanderbilt University as our recipient of the Sedimentary Geology Division Student Research Award. During our awards ceremony, she described her planned research project aims to answer her primary research question: “Is variability in the Asian monsoon and Himalayan erosion recorded in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta?”. Due to COVID impacts her project had been delayed, but she acknowledged the award will help her pay for the analyses she will need to carry out her work. We hope to see an update from her in 2021!

The Student Research award is presented annually to an outstanding student research proposal submitted to GSA in the field of sedimentary geology. We look forward to announcing the 2021 recipient in the coming months and recognizing them at the next GSA meeting.

Above: Sample sites in the Brahmaputra delta region that Jessica Raff will analyze with funds from her 2020 GSA Sedimentary Geology Division Student Research Award.

Student Research Poster Competition

Twenty-two of our intrepid students engaged in an entirely new poster format delivered through the GSA Connects virtual platform and turned out a session filled with amazing work! Four of these students were selected by a panel of judges to receive a $500 prize as recipients of the SEPM-Sedimentary Geology Division Student Poster Award

1) Sara Biddle (University of Alberta): “Recognizing the influence of burrowing meiofauna in marine mudrocks and what it means for paleoredox: a case study of microscopic trace fossils in the organic-rich Horn River Group Devonian mudrocks, Northwest Territories”

2) Fangge Chen (China University of Geosciences): “Carboniferous Mn deposits from the South China Block: A new type of upwelling-related ore”

3) Rodrigo A. Narro Pérez (McMaster University): “Sedimentological analysis of a lateral moraine, Gígjökull, Iceland”

4) Mildred Zepeda-Martínez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México): “Internal architecture and tectono-sedimentary evolution of the Tlaxiaco Basin, southern Mexico: A sedimentological approach for reconstructing the Early-Middle Jurassic continental attenuation history of western equatorial Pangea”

Above: Award Recipients for the 2021 Joint SEPM-GSA SGD Student Poster Competition. Clockwise from upper left: Sara Biddle, Fangge Chen, Rodrigo A. Narro Pérez and Mildred Zepeda-Martíne

Laubach Structural Diagenesis Award

The Stephen E. Laubach Structural Diagenesis Research Award went to Leonardo Del Sole in the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bologna, “Analytical and numeric experiments to simulate fluid flow and constrain cement precipitation processes with deformation band in porous sandstones 

Above: Study site of Laubach winner Leonardo del Sole, who is studying deformation band diagenesis in the Apennine Mountains of Italy.

This award is jointly administered by the Sedimentary Geology division and the Structural Geology & Tectonics Division. This award is open to all faculty, postgraduates and students of any level. Be on the look out for the call for proposals for the 2021 award!

2021 Sedimentary Geology Division Officers:

Chair: Amy Weislogel
Vice Chair: Brian Hampton
Secretary-Treasurer: Brett McLaurin
Student Representative: Sharif Mustaque
2nd Student Representative: Open
Past Chair: Gary Gianniny

2020 Sedimentary Geology Division Volunteers:

Representative to GSA Council: Manfred Strecker
Webmaster: Stefania Laronga
Ex Officio Management Board Member: Howard Harper, SEPM
2020 Joint Technical Program Committee: Will Jackson

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