What is GIESS?

The Graduate Interdisciplinary Earth Science Symposia (GIESS, pronounced “geese”) is a series of mini-symposia hosted by-and-for graduate students in the Rice Earth Science department. GIESS is an effort to revamp the Friday Seminars in the department, and specifically to increase the quality of presentations and to promote more participation. Six symposium sessions per year, each have a unique theme or topic to tie together three presentations made by graduate students. These three talks are selected by the GIESS committee, following a call for abstracts. Finally, the end of GIESS will be an opportunity for “pop-up talks” given by anyone in the department (see below). Lunch is provided for attendees. Monetary awards will be given at the end of each year for the best talk, best participant, and more!

What are the topics for GIESS?

The topics of the first GIESS are still being decided, and this page will be updated when the call for abstracts is sent out.

What is a pop-up talk?

The pop-up talks are maximum two-slide and two-minute presentations about something small and fun the presenter wants to share. This is an opportunity for anyone to share something cool, fun, and brief about your ongoing research or emerging interests—this is not supposed to be your entire thesis in two minutes. Some examples of pop up talks might be a short video of your experiment or model run and what the result means, or a bold idea for research you want to discuss with others. The hope is that this casual format promotes sharing ideas and discussion within department. Giving a GIESS pop-up talk is open to anyone!

Who is GIESS?

GIESS is a committee of six senior graduate students in the Earth Science department: Laura B. Carter, James Eguchi, Sahand Hajimirza, Andrew J. Moodie (Chair), Harsh Vora, and Daniel Woodworth. Email amoodie@rice.edu for more information.

How do I present at GIESS?

The topics for the first three sessions of GIESS (i.e., the fall 2017 semester) are below. We encourage you to choose a session and submit an abstract by email to Andrew Moodie (amoodie@rice.edu) by Friday August 11th. Please keep your abstract to less than 250 words, and be sure to include an abstract title and the session you are submitting to.

SESSION 1: “Plate Tectonics” — encouraging submissions relating to, but not limited to: plate motion drivers, results, and effects, subduction zones, tectonism.

SESSION 2: “Depositional Environments” — encouraging submissions relating to, but not limited to: fluvial, deltaic, floodplain, coastal, marine, glacial, aeolian, carbonate.

SESSION 3: “Earth’s Interior” — encouraging submissions relating to, but not limited to: geodynamics, seismic imaging and interpretation, melting, volatiles, and geochemistry.

Please note that these session topics are intentionally broad and are subject to becoming more focused or slightly shifted depending on the submissions received. We encourage all to submit. The committee will try to make the best Symposia possible; in this process the topic may become more concise and focused.

Over the course of the year (there will be 3 more sessions in the spring!), it is our hope that there is at least one session that is a great fit for everyone. You can resubmit your abstract for the next group of sessions, too! If you have a suggestion for a symposium topic feel free to share it with the committee as well.

Also, please note that the precise dates for the symposia are still being sorted out, but they will all occur on Fridays from 11:30am to 1:30pm.


GIESS is an opportunity for you to give a well-attended talk about your research and ongoing interests to the entire department. With a coherent topic to each session, the symposia are able to dive deeply into a single topic, ensuring that the feedback you receive as a presenter is high quality, and that the discussions promote the development of your research. Also, giving a talk at GIESS will be a great item on your CV!

Please feel free to contact Andrew Moodie or any of the other committee members with comments or questions about GIESS as we make the change to this new, improved department seminar. Thank you.