Dec. 2015 GSA Today covers imaging spectroscopy and demographic gaps in the geosciences

November 24, 2015

Boulder, Colorado, USA - The December 2015 GSA Today is now online. The science article by Rebecca N. Greenberger and colleagues presents the "exciting science potential and new insights into geological processes" that imaging spectroscopy provides. In the Groundwork article, author Bradley D. Cramer and colleagues write that while a 16% growth in geoscience jobs is expected by 2022, there is a critical shortage of geoscientists in the workforce, which could lead to a shortfall in the next decade.


Imaging spectroscopy of geological samples and outcrops: Novel insights from microns to meters

Rebecca N. Greenberger et al., Dept. of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, California 91109, USA. Online at

Imaging spectroscopy is a powerful, non-destructive mineralogic tool that provides insights into a variety of geological processes. This remote measurement technique has been used for decades from orbital or aerial platforms to characterize surface compositions of Earth and other solar system bodies. These instruments have now been miniaturized for use in the laboratory and field, thereby enabling petrologic analyses of samples and outcrops. Here, we review the technique and present four examples showing the exciting science potential and new insights into geological processes.


Who will build the 21st century? Addressing critical demographic gaps in the geosciences

Bradley D. Cramer et al., 1 Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. Online at

The geoscience workforce in the United States may be facing a critical shortage of trained personnel. The National Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 16% increase in geoscience jobs by 2022. If, as projected, more than half of the present geoscience workforce retires by that time, up to 185,000 new geoscientists will be needed. Graduation rates in U.S. geoscience programs are slowly increasing but still lack the capacity to produce such numbers by 2022. The result is a projected shortfall of 135,000 trained geoscientists within the next decade. To meet these growing challenges to our ability to research, assess, and utilize our natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner, we must increase the number of geoscience students.
These articles are OPEN ACCESS online. Please discuss articles of interest with the authors before publishing stories about their work, and please make reference to GSA Today in articles published.

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