GS Members Meeting: Nov. 8

October 29, 2021

The Geochemical Society held its annul membership meeting on Monday, November 8 from 3-4 pm EST via webinar. GS President Vickie Bennett presented a short update on current initiatives followed by open discussion.

Watch the recording

Category: Society News
Tag: Membership

Remembering Frederick A. Frey (1938-2021)

October 11, 2021

Fred Frey passed away on September 13, 2021 at 83 years of age.  For over 50 years, Fred worked to build our understanding of the chemical composition of the Earth’s upper mantle and the generation of magma through mantle partial melting.  He sought to understand the processes that lead to the diverse trace element and isotopic compositions of mantle rocks and mantle-derived magmas.  Fred’s research was unique in that it encompassed two approaches to this understanding: direct study of mantle xenoliths and tectonically emplaced mantle rocks and the complementary study of magmas generated in different tectonic settings - at mid ocean ridges, oceanic islands, and subduction zones.


Category: In Memoriam

Exploring Earth and Planetary Materials with Neutrons

September 23, 2021

For over half a century, the structural details and the dynamics of atomic arrangements in materials have been determined using neutron-based scattering and absorption measurements. Neutron scattering experiments have contributed valuable information on geological materials and how these interact with fluids. In situ studies of transformations and fundamental properties can emulate diverse environments from Earth’s surface to its deep interior. Potential growth of the “neutron community” is being realized with the development of new and improved neutron sources. This issue will familiarize the reader with the basic concepts of neutron scattering, the methods that are available to Earth scientists, provide a summary of facilities around the world, and give key applications of the technique.

Current Geochemical Society members can access this issue now via the Elements website using your email address (UserID) and member number (Password).


Recognizing a Broader Spectrum of Achievement

July 29, 2021

Excellence in geochemistry can be defined in many ways. Of course, this includes publication of novel discoveries, but it also includes teaching, capacity building, influencing policy making, science communication, and much more. Recognizing this, the Geochemical Society has broadened the definition of excellence we use in many of our award criteria.

The GS is also committed to increasing diversity in geochemistry and among its formally recognized inspirational and prominent figures. We seek to promote and encourage diversity and inclusion while furthering equity, a true sense of belonging, and success for all people. In particular, the society is keen to encourage talented researchers from underrepresented groups to serve as nominators and to be nominated for society awards.

Everyone in the geochemistry community is invited to participate in this process. Check out this list of frequently asked questions, which helps to demystify the process.

To submit a nomination, get started by reviewing the list of awards and their criteria. Nominations for our awards and special lectures are due by October 31.

GS to Add Early Career Members to its Board of Directors

July 26, 2021

Students, postdoctoral scholars, and other early career scientists form a crucial segment of the Geochemical Society's membership. To make sure that we consider the needs of this population, the society is adding two new seats on its board specifically for early career researchers (ECR). The board is responsible for governing the organization and determining how our programs can best serve the international geochemistry community. Serving on the board is an opportunity to develop as a leader, meet colleagues from around the world, and make a real contribution to the society and larger community.

Early career scientists may self-nominate or be nominated by others for this role by August 20, 2021.


July 12, 2021

Stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone—collectively known as speleothems—are some of the most fantastic mineral features in nature. Speleothems are also critical archives of past environments, and their study incorporates expertise from groundwater hydrogeology and geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, climate science, geobiology, and even geophysics. Research on speleothem trace element and isotopic geochemistry, constituent organic compounds, noncarbonate minerals, and morphology can help illuminate paleoenvironmental conditions and document historical anthropogenic land-use changes. This issue of Elements introduces the many ways that speleothems are used within the geoscience community to learn about natural Earth processes and our role in modifying them. 
Current Geochemical Society members can access this issue now via the Elements website using your email address (UserID) and member number (Password).

Ross Taylor (1925-2021)

May 24, 2021

Stuart Ross Taylor, Goldschmidt Medalist (1993) and Geochemistry Fellow, passed away in Canberra, Australia on May 23, 2021, surrounded by family. Ross was a geochemist who made seminal contributions to our understanding of the origin and evolution of Earth's continental crust, and the composition and origin of the Moon, meteorites, tektites, and the solar system. Born in Ashburton, New Zealand in 1925, he received a BSc and MSc Hons from the University of New Zealand followed by a PhD in 1954 at the University of Indiana, USA, where he studied under fellow Kiwi Brian Mason. Taylor was Mason's only PhD student and Mason himself was the last PhD student of Victor Moritz Goldschmidt. Following his PhD, Ross became a tenured lecturer at Oxford University where he worked with Louis Ahrens and built an emission spectroscopy laboratory. There he met Noël, the love of his life, who was working on organic crystallography with Dorothy Hodgkin. They married in 1958 just before Ross accepted an appointment as a senior lecturer in geochemistry at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he began his work on the origin of tektites, mysterious glassy droplets found strewn over large regions of Earth. In 1961 he was recruited by John Jaeger to the ANU as a senior fellow in geophysics and in 1962 became a professorial fellow in the Research School of Earth Sciences where he spent the remainder of his career. At ANU he set up an emission spectrograph and later a spark-source mass spectrometer to analyze trace elements at unprecedented detection levels and precision. There he continued his work on tektites, establishing that they are terrestrial in origin and generated at meteorite impact sites. Shortly thereafter, Ross was invited to join the preliminary analysis team for the Apollo 11 and 12 missions and he produced the first geochemical analyses of lunar return samples. Ross went on to become a world expert on lunar composition and origin. He also focused his spectrometers on terrestrial samples such as andesites and sedimentary rocks, developing the andesite model for crustal origin and defining the composition of the upper continental crust through the analyses of terrigenous sediments (shales and loess). Over his prolific career Ross published more than 240 papers and nine books. He received a myriad of honors, including the Goldschmidt Award of the Geochemical Society, the Leonard Medal of the Meteoritical Society, the Bucher Medal from the American Geophysical Union, election to Australian Academy of Sciences, foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Companion of the Order of Australia, and the naming of asteroid 5670 Rosstaylor. Despite these lofty accomplishments, Ross was always humble and kind and widely loved by his students, post-docs, and colleagues. A student of history, he always had interesting historical anecdotes to share, as anyone who has read the footnotes in his books will know. Ross is survived by his wife of 63 years, Noël Taylor, daughters Judith, Susanna, and Helen, grandson Angelo, and son-in-law Michael.

Roberta L. Rudnick, UC Santa Barbara

Category: In Memoriam

Dates Announced for Upcoming Goldschmidt Conferences

May 06, 2021

The GS and EAG are pleased to announce that the 2022 Goldschmidt Conference will take place in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, USA and online from July 10-15. This follows the cancellation of the in-person meeting originally scheduled in Honolulu last year. Plans were well underway for field trips, workshops, and social events to give delegates opportunities to explore the geology and culture of the Aloha State. Many of these events will now take place during next year's meeting. Hybrid components will provide remote participation options, as well.

Dates for the following conferences are also confirmed:

  • July 9-14, 2023 • Location to be determined
  • August 18-25, 2024 • Chicago, Illinois, USA

Elements: Shedding Light on the European Alps

May 06, 2021

The European Alps are one of the most studied orogens worldwide. New research has brought into question long-established paradigms of Alpine evolution. This issue provides a petrological, geochemical, and tectonic overview of the Alpine orogeny, from rifting and spreading to subduction and collision and, finally, to postcollisional uplift and erosion. Also discussed are the current debates regarding the origins of (ultra-)high pressure metamorphism, the origins of syncollisional magmatism, and the evolution of rifting and ocean spreading.

Current Geochemical Society members can access this issue now via the Elements website using your email address (UserID) and member number (Password).

Günter W. Lugmair (1940-2021)

April 20, 2021

(Image (c) Max-Planck-Society Berlin-Dahlem)

Cosmophysicist Günter W. Lugmair passed away on March 31. He received the Geochemical Society's V. M. Goldschmidt Award in 2007. It was one of many honors that he received over the course of a distinguished career.

Remembrance from the Meteoritical Society

Remembrance from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Category: In Memoriam