Friday, July 03, 2015

AASG and BOEM agreement on OCS collaboration

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) have signed an agreement to foster interaction, cooperation and coordination on marine minerals and oil and gas resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS).

Since the 1990s, BOEM and its predecessor agencies have worked with numerous state geological surveys on cooperative agreements to evaluate OCS sand resources for coastal resilience, restoration projects and planning. A national-level agreement will improve information exchange and the ability for BOEM, AASG and its members to communicate on national plans and issues with each other.

“As BOEM worked through extensive coordination with 13 Atlantic states following Hurricane Sandy, we realized that we could streamline operations even more through closer coordination with state geologists,” said Renee Orr, BOEM’s Chief of Strategic Resources. “They are important partners in helping us strengthen coastal resilience using OCS sand, as well as managing offshore oil and gas activities in all four OCS regions -- the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska.”

Officials from BOEM and AASG finalized the agreement on June 17 during the AASG annual meeting in Flagstaff, Arizona. Richard Desselles, Division Chief for Resource Evaluation, represented BOEM’s Office of Strategic Resources, and Dr. Jonathan Arthur, AASG President, signed for the association.   [Right, Richard Desselles (left), representing BOEM's Office of Strategic Resources, before AASG President Jonathan D. Arthur adds his signature to the agreement between the two organizations.
Photo courtesy of Kenneth Taylor, North Carolina Geological Survey]

"On behalf of the Association of American State Geologists, we welcome the enactment of this MOU with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Office of Strategic Resources to ensure the continuation of information sharing between our Nation's state geological surveys and our federal colleagues,” said AASG President Jonathan Arthur. “This MOU will serve us well as we work on items of mutual interest that affect the development and protection of our Nation's diverse coastal resources."

Under the agreement, BOEM’s Office of Strategic Resources may provide information to the association on appropriate BOEM permitting, research and planning activities for informal review and comment by the affected states. The AASG, through individual state geological surveys, may provide information to BOEM on appropriate state projects for informal review and comment. The purpose of these reviews is to facilitate information sharing that will foster mutually beneficial interaction, increase opportunities for cooperative BOEM-state geological survey activities and minimize conflicts and misunderstanding.

[from the BOEM announcement]

Saturday, June 20, 2015

AASG members go back country in Petrified Forest National Park to early Triassic excavation

The post-meeting field trip for the AASG 107th Annual Meeting held in Flagstaff, Arizona, went to Petrified Forest National Park and Meteor Crater last Thursday.

Park naturalist and paleontologist Adam Marsh led the 50+ participants on a back country hike to a Triassic 'dying ground' site that he and his team are currently excavating.   The dig area was literally covered with weathered-out bone fragments and teeth from a number of pre-dinosaur fauna as well lots of petrified wood. The prime excavation site was exposing more intact materials.   Despite the 96F temperature, we had a difficult time getting everyone to leave the stop and hike back to the bus.

The meeting was hosted by the Arizona Geological Survey.

AASG wraps up successful annual meeting in Flagstaff Arizona

The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) met in Flagstaff this past week for its 107th Annual Meeting.   Over 150 attendees participated from state geological surveys, federal counterparts, professional organizations, and industry.     We had a variety of technical sessions on geoscience topics including induced seismicity, mineral resources, ground collapse, sustainability of state surveys, groundwater, and data preservation.

USGS Acting Director Suzette Kimball laid out a proposal for expanded collaboration between USGS and State Geological Surveys on a number of priority areas around resources, hazards, mapping, and environmental topics. 

A field trip to Grand Canyon on Tuesday, provided opportunities to discuss land use management, geology in national parks, outreach and education, as well as giving the attendees an introduction to Arizona geology.  [Top, USGS geologist Ryan Crow describes the planning and building of the Trail of Time at Grand Canyon, to AASG field trip participants.]

Monday, June 15, 2015

State Geologists Annual Meeting underway in Flagstaff

The 107th Annual Meeting of the Association of American State Geologists gets formally underway today in Flagstaff, Arizona, with over 150 in attendance.  The pre-meeting field trip through the San Francisco volcanic field drew nearly 80 participants.   The meeting is hosted by the Arizona Geological Survey.

Participants will tour Grand Canyon National Park on Tuesday.   The meeting runs through Wednesday, June 17, followed by a post-meeting trip to Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest National Park.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

AASG's Mankin Award to Missouri Geological Survey

The winner of AASG’s 2015 Charles J. Mankin Memorial Award goes to the Missouri Geological Survey’s publication, The Paleozoic Succession in Missouri, Part 1(Revised) – Cambrian System; Justin G. Davis, Kevin R. Evans, Vincent E. Kurtz, James F. Miller, Patrick S. Mulvany, James R. Palmer, John F. Repetski, and Thomas L. Thompson, authors; Patrick S. Mulvany and Thomas J. Thompson, editors; Report of Investigations 70.

The Award is given each year to a nominated geological map, compilation, or report on regional, energy, or mineral resource geology published in one of the three preceding calendar years by a state geological survey. A shared $1,000 prize and a certificate to each author is presented at the AASG Mid-Year Meeting, to be held this November in Baltimore, MD. in concert with the Geological Society of America’s Annual Meeting.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Environmental geology award to Utah Geological Survey

This year’s winner of the John C. Frye Memorial Award in Environmental Geology is, “Investigation of Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures in Cedar Valley, Iron County, Utah,” Special Study 150, Utah Geological Survey, 2014, Tyler Knudsen, Paul Inkenbrandt, William Lund, Mike Lowe, and Steve Bowman, authors. 

This award is co-sponsored by the Geological Society of America and AASG for the best nominated publication in the field of environmental geology published by a state geological survey or by GSA during the past three years.  The Utah report was selected by a three-person panel from amongst nine excellent submittals.

The award will be presented during the GSA Annual Meeting, to be held in Baltimore, MD in November 1-4 of this year.  The award will be announced at the GSA Awards Ceremony, and the award itself will be presented at the AASG Mid-Year Meeting which runs in conjunction with the GSA meeting. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

AASG Distinguished Service Award to James Robertson of Wisconsin

It gives me great pleasure to announce on behalf of President Jon Arthur, that the recipient of the 2015 AASG Distinguished Service Award is our good friend and respected colleague, James M. Robertson, State Geologist of Wisconsin. [Photo credit, Univ. of Wisconsin]

In his 22 years as a member of AASG and State Geologist of Wisconsin, Jamie has made innumerable contributions to both his own State Survey as well as to the AASG organization.  Jamie has represented AASG to the AGI, GSA, and the NRC where he served on the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources, and has a long and successful association with the National Cooperative Geological Mapping Program.  Jamie has served as AASG Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, and President.

Jamie will be formally presented with this well-deserved award at the 2015 AASG Annual Business Meeting in Flagstaff, Arizona, June 17.  Please join me in thanking and congratulating our colleague on this achievement.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Registration deadline looming for AASG 2015 annual meeting

Early registration for the 2015 AASG Annual Meeting in Flagstaff, June 14-18, 2015, ends on May 15.   The room block at the Drury Inn & Suites closes on May 12, so make your reservation now even if you are not ready to register: 

We invite you to register early to take advantage of the discounted rates, at

Please feel free to forward the site to your colleagues and encourage them to join us in Flagstaff.  [right, geologic map of Grand Canyon]