Anthropocene describes the time during which humans have had a substantial impact on our planet. For the past several decades, several scientific and social science communities have been wrestling with this concept and its importance. We have reached a period in Earth’s history, and thus human history, where humankind continues to profoundly influence Earth processes on a global scale. The geoscience community continues to debate whether the Anthropocene should be an official time unit in the ever-improving geologic time scale for Earth.

John Geissman is a professor emeritus of geoscience at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of New Mexico. He received a BS, MS, and PhD in Geology (now Earth and Environmental Sciences) from the University of Michigan. He is a Past President of the Geological Society of America as well as the editor for the GSA Bulletin. He has over 300 peer-reviewed science journal contributions.