The recently concluded First Joint Scientific Meeting of Geological Society of China (GSC) and Geological Society of America (GSA) proceeded efficiently in the modern setting of the Jinjiang Hotel, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. GSA’s International Section played a key role bringing this meeting to the overseas communities. The meeting, titled ‘Roof of the World’, ended on 19 June, 2013, followed by several field trips that lasted from three to six days. The meeting was designed to promote and bolster the academic communication between the GSC and GSA, and covered a wide range of topics presented through 15 technical sessions, including: Evolution of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Continental Deformation and Deep Lithosphere Processes, Intra-Continental Deformations and Geo-hazards, Accretionary Orogens, Deep Earth Processes through Geochemistry, Mineral Deposits, Basins and Petroleum Resources, Permian-Triassic Mass Extinctions, Ultra High-pressure Metamorphism, Ophiolites, Carbon Sequestration, Water Resources and Hydrogeology, Gas Hydrates, Critical Transitions in Earth’s History and Foreland basin tectonics.
The GSC-GSA meeting took place just about six weeks after an earthquake struck Sichuan Province; however the City of Chengdu largely remained unhurt.
Based on presented talks and posters as shown in Figure 1, the session titled Mineral Deposits: Genesis and Exploration ended up having the highest number of presenters, and it certainly demonstrated China’s recent focus on resource geology in order to meet the demand for increased supply of energy and industrial minerals in connection with rapid urbanization and manufacturing needs. Scientific sessions on Tectonic evolution of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Intra-Continental Deformation, Gas Hydrates, and Foreland Basin Tectonics also drew the attention of many participants and reinforced the need for conducting additional fundamental research. Environmental sessions, including Carbon Sequestration and Water Resources and Hydrology, were popular and reminded us again about the need to maintain a sustainable environment and ecological balance given the rapid expansion of overall infrastructure and trade.
About the City of Chengdu
Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan province, and is currently recognized by many as the focal point of science and technology, finance, trade and commerce in southwestern China. It is the regional hub for communication and transportation. Chengdu’s 14 million inhabitants have a noticeably high proportion of science and technology skills, and the city is home to a large number of international financial institutions. Chengdu ranked fourth out of all Chinese cities in terms of permanent resident population after Chongqing (28.8462 million), Shanghai (23.0191 million), and Beijing (19.6120 million).
Chengdu is the flagship city for foreign investment in China. As a city famous for its tourism and its historical culture, Chengdu boasts Three-Kingdom-Period Culture, Jinsha Relics, the Dujiangyan Irrigation System (over 2000 years old), and other historical sites. Given its booming economy, tourism, and recent high-tech establishments, Chengdu was honored the “Best Tourism City of China” by the World Tourism Organization and the National Tourism Administration in 2006. The city of Chengdu is situated in the southeastern portion of the Chengdu Plain, with high relief to the west and low to the east, a typical inland area. Tectonic units of Chengdu include the Mt. Longquan thrust belt, Chengdu Depression and Longmenshan Fold. For the most part, the Chengdu plain has an elevation ranging from 450 to 720 meters. Chengdu is bordered by the high and steep Longmen Mountain in the northeast and by the Qionglai Mountains in the west. Miao Jiling (5,364 m or 17,598 ft) and Xiling Snow Mountain (5,164 m or 16, 942 ft) are the loftiest mountain ranges. The western mountainous area is also home to a large primitive forest with abundant biological resources and a Giant Panda habitat. East of Chengdu stands the low Longquan Mountain and the area bordering to the west is comprised of the hilly middle reaches of the Min River. Since ancient times, Chengdu has been known as owing to its fertile soil, favorable climate, and novel Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
The surficial geology of Chengdu adjacent to the meeting place is divided into three stratigraphic units: the upper 1-3 m surface layer is occupied by yellow-gray silt clay and fill, the middle is brown- yellow gravels 10 to 20 meters thick with silt clay and silt lenses with sporadic clayey units, and the bottom is composed of red, thick-bedded mudstones of the Cretaceous Guankou Group (Figure 4 through Figure 6; after R. Q. HUANG, S. J. WANG, Z. M. XU, & L. Z. WU 2006). Due to high bearing capacity of the gravels (allowable bearing pressure is commonly from 700 to 1200 kPa) in Chengdu, it is deemed to be sound from a geoengineering point of view and capable of supporting most buildings (R. Q. HUANG, S. J. WANG, Z. M. XU, & L. Z. WU 2006; IAEG Paper number 712).
The weather was hot and humid and early morning showers kept humidity at a high level for both Tuesday and Wednesday (June 18 and 19, 2013). The conference venue was comfortably located in a downtown setting with lots of eateries (including Starbucks) within walking distance. The nearby Funan River walk was a pleasant break for many participants after the meeting, and it was quite peaceful. Lots of local residents were enjoying the scenery and doing physical activities: dancing, meditation, and other forms of aerobic exercises even close to midnight. Many residents easily get around the city on scooters. It was quite interesting to see several dozen scooter riders waiting patiently for traffic light turning green. Everyone followed their designated path with no apparent conflict with pedestrians!
The Geological Society of China
The Geological Society of China was founded in Beijing on 27 January 1922. It is one of the earliest scientific organizations in China, whose predecessor was the Chinese Society of Earth Sciences formed in Tianjin in 1909. The earliest geological map ever produced in China (that of the former Zhili Province, covering the present Hebei Province, Beijing, and Tianjin) was published in the founding issue of the Journal of the Chinese Society of Earth Sciences in 1910. Currently GSC has well-over 80,000 members. Apart from the GSC, the International Professionals for the Advancement of Chinese Earth Sciences (IPACES) coordinates with other geological agencies in China. The IPACES is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 and registered in the State of Michigan, USA. The missions of the IPACES are a) to promote cooperation in earth sciences between China and the US, and between China and other countries, and b) to advance earth science research and education in China.
Preparation for a joint GSC-GSA meeting dates back to 2011 when GSC and GSA representatives signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the GSA Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Paul Robinson, past Chair of the GSA International Section (IS), suggested Roof of the World as the title for this meeting and his suggestion was agreed upon by all attending IS management board members and guests. Details about this MOU were communicated through GSA IS 2011 Newsletter. Dr. Jack Hess (GSA Executive Director) and Melissa Cummiskey (GSA Director of Meetings) visited Chengdu in May of 2012, met their Chinese counterparts, and ironed out several key issues associated with the meeting, including the meeting location, accommodations, and other logistical matters.
Through the subsequent involvement and well-coordinated hard work of several key personnel, including Dr. Juhn Liou, Dr. I-Ming Chou, Professor Shuwen Dong (Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences), Dr. An Yin and Dr. Nazrul Khandaker, the Roof of the World meeting took shape and enabled participants from various parts of the world to attend and present their research. The fourth and final circular came into being in May of 2013 and culminated by assembling over 424 registrants including 97 overseas participants. Among the overseas participants, 66 were from the United States and the rest were from other 12 countries. There were over 329 abstracts presented (141 oral and 188 poster) at this first joint meeting between the GSC and GSA; however 531 abstracts were published in Acta Geologica Sinica, volume 87, Supplemental Issue 2013. GSA was represented by Suzanne Kay (incoming GSA President), Jack Hess (GSA Executive Director), and Wesley Hill (GSA International Secretariat), and GSA’s International Section Management Board (ISMB) was represented by An Yin (UCLA), Nazrul Khandaker (CUNY), and Ric Terman (GSA IS Treasurer and retired USGS geologist).
As part of the bilateral agreement between the GSA and GSC, a reciprocal meeting will take place in 2015 prior to the GSA Annual Meeting and Chinese geologists will resume their US journey by attending a pre-meeting field trip starting from the western cordillera and culminating on the east coast. Tentative trip leader for this conference will be Dr. An Yin (UCLA and current GSA IS Chair).
There were two separate tours to the Giant Panda Breeding Station and Wenchuan Earthquake Site, and these pre-meeting trips were completely sold out. I attended the tour to the Giant Panda Breeding Station and was amazed to see both traditional black and white as well as red pandas and learned about their unique sedentary lifestyle. Pandas live 25-30 years and bamboo, panda’s main food, seem to control their growth. Once bamboo flowers blossom (usually happens on a 75-85 year cycle), pandas go hungry because a scarcity of food becomes eminent.
The tour guide was quite knowledgeable about panda habitat and entertained attending geologists and guests with some humorous remarks “black and white panda has a long dream to have its photo taken as colored picture, unfortunately pictures always end up black and white!”
Post-meeting field trips included visits to the Permian-Triassic boundary beds and Early Permian-Middle Triassic marine successions of the northern margin of the upper Yangtze Platform (June 20-23), as well as to the Sanjiang Orogenic Belt in Yunnan Province (Kumming-Dali-Baoshan-Tengchong-Kumming; June 20-26).
Opening Ceremony and Ice Breaker
On the evening of Sunday June 16, an ice breaker and welcoming reception was organized by the local host with welcoming speeches from Mr. Xianlai Meng (Executive Vice President of the Geological Society of China), Dr. Jack Hess (Executive Director, GSA), Professor Shuwen Dong, and Dr. Suzanne Kay (incoming GSA President). Wang Min, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Land and Resources and Head of China Geological Survey, attended the meeting and gave a speech at the opening ceremony. Wang Xiaolie, Deputy Director of China Academy of Geological Sciences, Zhu Lixin, Secretary General of GSC, and Clark Burchfiel were present at the meeting together with over 424 geologists from China and America as well as from other countries. Dr. Suzanne Kay reflected on US-China geological collaboration and mentioned Amadeus W. Grabau as the earliest documented US geologist working in China as early as 1925 who published a benchmark paper titled “Fundamental concepts in geology and their bearing on Chinese stratigraphy (Bulletin of the Chinese Geological Society, Volume 16, Issue 1, p. 127-176, 1937).
In his speech, Mr. Wang Min said that since the founding of GSA 125 years ago, American geologists have been making remarkable contributions to the development of the geosciences. Likewise, GSC has gone through a history of 91 years. With the sustained and rapid development of China’s economy, China has been making a series of new geoscience achievements, developing toward the new realms of deep space, deep seas and deep ground. Worldwide geological research subjects such as continental tectonic and dynamics and Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau have been attracting more and more geologists.
In their welcoming speeches, Ms. Suzanne Kay and Mr. Jack Hess reviewed the origin and history of the cooperation between GSA and GSC as well as the results achieved by both sides in the fields of environmental geology and geo-hazard prevention, hoping that the cooperation and communication will successfully continue. It was followed by buffet-style dinner with incredible assortment of scrumptious food, wine, and soft drinks. Chinese delegates led by Professor Shuwen Dong and Mr. Xianlai Meng spent virtually all of their time coordinating this meeting, attending various theme sessions and were highly visible from dawn to dusk. Along with other attending Chinese participants, they exhibited lots of exuberance, excitement, and dedication to this conference and made sure the meeting was meaningful and exemplary to the participants from both scientific and logistical points of view. Student volunteers, mostly undergraduates from the Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT) were directly involved in various operational phases associated with this meeting and their punctuality, work ethics, and amiable disposition greatly impressed meeting participants. Once CDUT established in 1956 was previously called as Chengdu College of Geology until 1993.
Plenary Sessions: June 17, 2013
Plenary sessions were co-chaired by Dr. Jingsui Yang (State Key Laboratory for Continental Tectonics and Dynamics, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (GSC) and Dr. An Yin (GSA International Section Chair). The invited papers at the meeting were excellent and certainly updated our understanding of the tectonic history of western China. MIT Professor Clark Burchfiel, keynote speaker and also the GSA International Section’s recipient of 2013 Distinguished Career Award, enlightened everyone with his outstanding presentation titled “Tibetan Plateau: Progress, but many first order questions remain”. Dr. Burchfiel gave a chronological account of how our ideas have been refined as additional multidisciplinary information became available through the years. Burchfiel is now retired from MIT, but still actively conducts research and continuously adds to his understanding of Himalayan Tectonics spanning over half a century!
Professor Shuwen Dong (Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences-CAGS, China), Dr. Runqiu Huang (Chengdu University of Technology), and Dr. Mark Harrison (University of California) spoke about the SinoProbe Project, A story from the Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan Province, and 4.4 billion years of shared crustal evolution, respectively, bringing different perspectives to the meeting participants. Runqiu Huang is currently at the State Key Laboratory of Geohazards Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT). It was a jam-packed morning session and over 424 registrants listened to keynote speeches in Hall A of Jin Jiang Hotel.
As I compile my reflections on the China Meeting, Science Magazine, dated July 5th 2013, provided a news brief on SinoProbe Project led by Professor Shuwen Dong. I feel compelled to share this with everyone interested in deep seismic process and its bearing on mineral exploration, ultra high pressure metamorphism, structural kinematics, and understanding earthquakes. The following excerpts are from the Science Magazine and endorse SinoProbe as one of the pioneering and revolutionary deep earth profiling projects ever undertaken by the Chinese geoscientists:
Dong Shuwen likens his homeland’s ambitions to study deep Earth to exploring deep space or the deep sea. For geologists, “it’s the final frontier,” says Dong, a vice president of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (CAGS) in Beijing. And much as exploring the depths of space and oceans is expensive, peering beneath Earth’s skin will require deep pockets. China’s Cabinet is now weighing plans for a 15-year, $6.5 billion effort to peel away the secrets of our planet’s crust and uppermost mantle, together known as the lithosphere.
As a prelude to the megaproject, Dong and colleagues, at a joint meeting of the Geological Society of China and Geological Society of America here last month, unveiled early findings from SinoProbe, a $200 million effort that Dong leads. In the 5-year program, which is just now wrapping up, Chinese scientists have imaged the lithosphere by exploding dynamite and recording seismic waves from the detonations reflected back to the surface. The campaign hasn’t failed to impress. “It’s a remarkable achievement,” says Suzanne Mahlburg Kay of Cornell University, the president of the Geological Society of America. SinoProbe, she says, “has significantly advanced our understanding of many aspects of the lithosphere.”
Three rooms with capacity well over 150 were designated for parallel oral presentations equipped with large screen and audio-visuals. Most of the PowerPoint presentations were chronologically stored with respect to individual session and schedule by the CDUT student volunteers prior to the scheduled talks, and apparently there seemed to be no glitches at the time of presentation. Each room had several CDUT student volunteers who were knowledgeable about logistical aspects of the presentation and always upbeat and moved around as usher with a microphone when participants had questions to ask. Everything was well-coordinated and the presenters had no difficulty communicating with the audiences. Poster presentations were displayed in the late afternoon adjacent to JinJiang Hall Corridor, and each poster presenter utilized their given poster board slot measuring 31.5 inches by 63 inches.
Since poster presentations were in the late afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to stroll at ease and interact with the presenters to exchange scientific information. Many early career Chinese geology professionals and graduate students proudly displayed their research in concert with Roof of the World theme topics and brought lots of scientific curiosity, opening the door for greater international participation. Ric Terman (GSA International Section) enjoyed listening to several oral presentations and visiting poster booths, and rightly commented, “An interesting aspect of this meeting was the participation of numerous students and presented papers and posters were quite a mixed bag, both in content and presentation, but certainly testified to the amazing amount of research that has been focused on the area.” Dr. Yan Zheng (The City University of New York and Columbia University), co-chair of the Water Resources and Hydrogeology session also commented favorably on various presentations and said, “overall, the level of scientific understanding and research potential demonstrated by many presenters, particularly early career Chinese professionals and academicians were impressive and certainly tectonics were the big one.” I had an opportunity to interact with several poster presenters and found an increased level of excitement, exuberance, and scientific curiosity among the presenters. Many showed keen interest to get involved with geologic projects of global significance. I think the meeting truly embodied GSA’s globalization theme and amply demonstrated this in many respects.
GSA International Section and Exxon Mobil-hosted Reception
On June 18, GSA International Section in collaboration with Exxon Mobil hosted an evening reception for the overseas attendees including Chinese geoscientists, high officials, and students. Approximately 150 participants were able to mingle, socialize and exchange scientific ideas of mutual interest. The event was highly successful and coordinated by Wesley Hill (GSA International Secretariat) and Nazrul Khandaker (GSA International Section Secretary). MIT Professor Clark Burchfiel was recognized by the GSA International Section for his outstanding contributions towards cementing international collaboration (particularly with China), and a plaque was presented to him by Dr. An Yin (GSA International Section Chair). A scrumptious dinner followed and everyone stayed late evening to enjoy this night.
June 19 was the closing of the joint meeting and a befitting banquet held in the exquisitely decorated ballroom at the JinJiang Hotel enabled almost everyone to reflect and cherish their experience over delicious food and drink and to talk about 2015 reciprocal meeting to be held in Baltimore, USA.
The banquet evening was addressed by Professor Ni Shijun, President of Chengdu University of Technology, Dr. Jack Hess, Dr. Suzanne Kay, Dr. An Yin, and Professor Shuwen Dong. As a token of appreciation, meeting attendees were presented with a beautiful polished rock slab (limestone) containing middle Paleozoic crinoids stem fossils. Beichuan County is the main area in Sichuan Province where crinoid fossils can be found. Compared with the crinoids stem fossils found in other regions of China, Beichuan county fossils are characterized by purity and fineness; handicraft articles carved out of crinoids stem fossils have high ornamental and collection value.
Prior to the Roof of the World Meeting, on June 14 and 15, 2013, the 7th World Chinese Conference on Geological Sciences was held in Chengdu University of Technology, and several participants also joined the Roof of the World meeting as well. Academicians from CAS, Prof. Li Tingdong, Prof. Xu Zhiqin and Prof. Li Shuguang as well as about 300 Chinese geologists from many parts of the world attended the meeting, sharing their latest achievements in scientific researches. In his speech at the opening ceremony, Mr. Xianlai Meng, Executive Vice Chairman of Geological Society of China (GSC), put forward three expectations: (1) Chinese geologists in the world would unite more tightly and strengthen academic communication to raise their academic level and capacity; (2) the younger generation of Chinese geologists should learn from the old generations of Chinese geologists and introduce the world’s advanced achievements of geo-sciences to the motherland and the advanced achievements of China to the world, so as to contribute to the national rejuvenation; and (3) geologists in the mainland and overseas would conduct joint researches to resolve the shortage of mineral resources and alleviate the loss of human life and property caused by frequent occurrence of natural disasters. Professor Zhang Youxue, from University of Michigan, spoke on behalf of the Overseas Chinese Earth Science and Technology Association (OCESTA) and the IPACES, expecting the academic communication and cooperation among mainland and overseas Chinese geologists would be further promoted.
Dr. Ni Shijun, President of Chengdu University of Technology, said in his welcoming speech that it is an issue of common concern in the world to utilize the earth’s resources in a reasonable and effective manner and protect the environment for human survival. Dr. Shijun said that this meeting is of real significance under the background of greater resource constraint, more serious environmental pollution and degeneration of ecological system. He appealed that we should foster a sense of the same-fate community, grasp the right direction, and promote the development of geosciences. Prof. Xu Zhiqin, Prof. Zhang Hongtao, Prof. Chou I-Ming and Prof. Lin Jian gave reports on their research after the opening ceremony. At the meeting, 163 presentations were given by the participants on 12 topics. This conference was initiated by GSC, the geosciences section of NNSF, the Geological Society of Hong Kong, the Geosciences Institute of Academia Sinica of Taiwan, the Geo-sciences Department of Taiwan University, OCESTA, sponsored by GSC, and organized by the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, CDUT and many other local organizations.
A Visit to the Chengdu University of Technology
With the help of few undergraduates, I had a rare opportunity to visit the Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT) and witness campus life on June 20, 2013. It was a very hot and muggy day, but students didn’t seem to be bothered by the weather. My first stop was the CDUT Library and as far as I could notice, there was no air conditioning in the library and in a few places I felt like being inside a sauna! Ironically no one was deterred by this condition. Students inside the library were completely immersed with their studies, research, and homework.
According to several CDUT students, the campus was built by following Russian architecture and as one can see from the list of collaborators, there are quite a few Russian Academic Institutions partnering with CDUT in academic exchange program. Visiting several other Geology, Petroleum Exploration, and Geohazard Engineering facilities gave me the impression that resources needed for imparting education to the students and allowing faculty to conduct fundamental research were available. Students are very proud of CDUT and consider it as one of the premier technical institutions dedicated for preparing students in applied geosciences in order to meet the demand for both present and future. In the early 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte was quoted as saying in reference to China, “There lies a sleeping giant. Let him sleep, for when he wakes he will move the world.” My brief visit to Chengdu, I found the true reflection and prudent assessment made by Napoleon.
The most fascinating part of my visit to Chengdu University of Technology was the famous CDUT Museum, where well over 60,000 specimens, including exquisitely well-preserved rare dinosaur eggs, complete fish fossils (dating back to 140 million years), one of the largest Jurassic dinosaurs (70 feet long world’s longest-necked Jurassic dinosaur and longest dinosaur fossil in Asia), and neat and intricately carved jade made into flowers and other delicate and sophisticated art-forms easily draw my attention.
Among the collections there are many world-class, nation-class delicacies and treasures. For example, the 20-plus precious dinosaur fossils rank first in number and sort among all Chinese university museums; a world-famous dinosaur fossil – Mamenchisaurus Hochanensis, which is admired as “the museum’s top treasure”, is 22 meters long and the biggest one among the integrated dinosaur fossils in China and Asia; a fish fossil – Chungkingichthys Tachuensis, 57cm in length, 20cm in width, full and distinct, is an infrequent curiosa in fish fossil world; Longchang Iron-nickel Meteorite is the earliest meteorite which have been recorded and collected in China; the system profile specimen and geological information of Emei Mountain, Longmen Mountain sedimentary facies reflect the land-sea vicissitude from Permian to Cretaceous Period in Sichuan Basin. It is certainly a treasure house for Western China and CDUT proudly houses this museum for the tourists.
The Wide (Kuan) and Narrow (Zhai) Lanes
The Wide and Narrow Lanes which date back to the Qing Dynasty (1616AD-1912AD) are the epitome of the old life of Chengdu City . The historical and cultural area of Chengdu is composed of three parallel ancient streets and complex of courtyard houses. Wide and Narrow Lanes are two of the three parallel ancient streets in the city, and the other one is called Jing Alley (Well Alley).
The Wide and Narrow Lanes were opened to tourists on 14th June, 2008, after four years of renovation and an investment of CNY600 million. Here, it has everything, from the most authentic Sichuan cuisine to Sichuan opera and tea houses. A quick stroll on the streets of Chengdu will reveal scores of tea houses. There is a saying, “China has the best teahouses in the world and Chengdu has the best teahouses in China.” The reputation is definitely well-deserved, not only because of the numerous teahouses, but also because the special way of serving and drinking tea.
Sichuan Hot Chili Peppers
Like the teahouses, Hot Pot is another Sichuanese institution, and one should not miss the opportunity to taste authentic hot pot, chili peppers and hua jiao peppercorn while in Chengdu!
Overall the First Joint Scientific Meeting of The Geological Society of China and The Geological Society of America was highly successful and opened the door for greater collaboration with China both in terms of academic and professional exchanges for the participating geoscientists, geophysicists, technocrats, and other earth science professionals. Talking with many young early career Chinese geologists and graduate students, I noticed a wide-range of scientific curiosity and eagerness to initiate or get involved with international research projects and many through their presentations already demonstrated their superior understanding of first-order geologic phenomena. A conference like this can only promote additional scientific collaboration, testing new grounds, and an expansion of knowledge. Participants greatly enjoyed attending the Roof of the World Meeting, and left with a taste of rich local culture, authentic food, and traditional Sichuan-type hospitality. I am sure that for many, Chengdu will be missed! GSA’s current globalization mission was truly reflected in this meeting, and being an integral part of this conference GSA’s International Section strengthened and firmly established its reputation as the premier sponsor of the meeting.
The Roof of the World meeting wouldn’t have been successful without the direct assistance and sponsorship received from Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT), Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (CAGS), Chengdu Center of China Geological Survey (CCCGS), the Department of Land and Resources of Sichuan Province, the China Geological Society of Sichuan Province, and the Geological Society of Yunnan Province. The following individuals spent countless hours, dedicating their valuable time to ensure a successful meeting, and warrant a big thank you note from the GSA and GSA International Section: Dr. Juhn Liou (Stanford), Dr. I-Ming Chou (USGS), Melissa Cummiskey (GSA Headquarters), Dr. Jack Hess (GSA Executive Director), Wesley Hill (GSA Headquarters), Dr. Joann Stock (GSA IS Chair 2011), Dr. Alan Smith (GSA IS Chair 2012), An Yin (UCLA) and GSA IS Chair 2013, Dr. Nazrul Khandaker (City University of New York – York College, GSA IS Secretary), Dr. Paul Robinson (past GSA IS Chair & currently at CAGS, China), Professor Shuwen Dong (Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences – CAGS), Dr. Jingsui Yang (GSC), Chen Zhu (CAGS), Mr. Xianlai Meng (Executive Vice President of GSC), Wang Wei, Division Chief of International Affairs (GSC), Li Jincheng, Deputy Chief of Science and Technology Department, Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT), and Kong Fanjin, Division Chief of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT). Finally, thanks to Exxon Mobil for their financial support that enabled GSA’s International Section to host a grand reception for the Chinese and overseas attendees, helping further conversations among the attending geologists, earth science professionals, and technocrats.