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The reason for the timing and occasion of the Geological Society of America (GSA) Penrose Conference held in the medieval town of Apiro on 25–30 September 2017, in the foothills of the Marche Apennines of central Italy, was the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Geological Observatory of Coldigioco (OGC), an independent research and educational center founded by Walter Alvarez, David Bice, and myself in 1992 in a semi-abandoned hamlet called Coldigioco. At this conference, some 60 attendees, mostly academicians and/or researchers, convened from 11 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK, and USA; Fig. 1), including a group of auditing students from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), who were in Coldigioco at that time for a 12-week environmental sciences field course. The attendees presented some 70 original research works and reviews in the form of keynote, oral, and poster presentations, covering specific subjects related to topics in tectonics and structural geology, integrated stratigraphy and astronomical tuning, event stratigraphy of extraterrestrial impacts, and Quaternary geology and geobio-speleology, most of which were focused on the Umbria-Marche Apennines.

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