Friday, June 24, 2011

New AASG officers elected at annual meeting

The following were elected as officers of AASG at the annual meeting in Dubuque, Iowa on June 15, 2011. [right, incoming AASG President Vicki McConnell acknowledges the contributions of outgoing president Jim Cobb, at the AASG Annual Meeting]

AASG Executive Committee

President Vicki McConnell (OR)
President-elect Harvey Thorleifson (MN)
Past President Jim Cobb (KY)
Vice President Bob Swenson (AK)
Secretary Joe Gillman (MO)
Treasurer Jon Arthur (FL)
Honorary Members Rep. Don Hoskins (Honorary, PA)

Other Elected Positions
Statistician Rick Allis (UT)
Historian Michael Bograd (MS)
Editor Mike Hohn (WV)
Associates Representative Jerry Weisenfluh (KY)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interim Director and State Geologist appointed in Delaware

Peter P. McLaughlin, Ph.D, PG, has been appointed to serve as Interim Director and State Geologist of the Delaware Geological Survey effective July 1, 2011. Pete has been a Senior Scientist at the DGS since 1999. He was previously employed as a Senior Exploration Geologist with Exxon Exploration Company.

Orndorff, Siok, honored by AASG

Randy Orndorff and Bill Siok were honored at the AASG Annual Meeting in Dubuque Iowa for their contributions that support state geological surveys and AASG.

Randy [top right, photo by Bob Marvinney] served as head of the USGS STATEMAP program in the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program for most of the past decade and was applauded for his leadership, collaboration, and vision in managing this flagship cooperative project.

Bill [bottom right, photo by Bob Marvinney] is Executive Director of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and was lauded for the AIPG authored white paper on the role and value of state geological surveys. The white paper is being used by many state surveys to help explain their contributions to stakeholders and decision-makers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wrap-up of the 103rd AASG Annual Meeting

We just finished our 103rd AASG Annual Meeting hosted by Bob Libra and the Iowa Geological Survey. Incoming AASG President Vicki McConnell (OR) [right, with USGS Associate Director Kevin Gallagher, on the Mississippi River] offered a brief assessment of the meeting:

AASG President Jim Cobb (KY) had set the theme for the meeting Importance and Future Roles of State Geological Surveys. We explored how a variety of surveys are structured and what has and has not worked for successful placement within universities, natural resource or other commissions, and state agencies. We also reviewed how we are communicating our information and our we might improve our impact to our stakeholders and our bosses be they Governors, advisory boards, Commissioners, or Chancellors.

We were updated on ongoing and emerging issues that affect some or all SGS: conventional and unconventional energy exploration and extraction, geothermal resources and data, geological hazards, strategic minerals, and topographic mapping to name a few. We heard briefings from several representatives of mission areas in the USGS as they develop their 10 year strategic plans and we will have opportunities to comment on their drafts.

Here are a few actions and additional information that came from the meeting:

· Bill Kelly (retired, NY) has volunteered to begin compiling a Surveys labs and services database. This information will be posted on the AASG website for Surveys to consider when contracting for services. An ongoing example is that Kentucky GS contracts with the Illinois GS for use of their drilling rig.

· The Associates have offered to compile a database of funded and active projects across State Geological Surveys. This could be a primer to review when surveys are exploring broadening their funding base.

· The AASG Environment Committee, Energy Committee, Minerals Committee, Hazards Committee, and Water Committee will review the relevant subject areas in the USGS draft Strategic Plans and submit recommendations to the AASG Executive Committee to compile for submission to the USGS.

· The Ohio Geologic Survey recently commissioned an economic analysis of their activities and products. State Geologist Mac Swinford has agreed to share the final document with AASG for general reference and possibly as a template for other states to consider.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Federal funds backfill State Geological Survey budgets

The projected revenues for state geological surveys in 2011 are

e collectively expected to set a record of $245 million, driven in part by federal stimulus funds and some very large federal projects in carbon sequestration at a few surveys.

Utah State Geologist Rick Allis presented a statistical summary at the AASG annual meeting in Dubuque yesterday.

Total staffing at state surveys is about 2,060, a loss of about 1,000 since 1980.

Monday, June 13, 2011

State Geologists annual meeting underway in Dubuque

The 103rd AASG annual meeting got underway officially this morning on the banks of the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa.

State geologists and staff are here from 38 states, along with a large number of representatives from federal agencies, professional societies, and other organizations.

The highlight of the opening session is a forum on defending state geological surveys in a time of budget crises and trying to learn from each other.

There are serious challenges facing many state geological surveys. Among the most dramatic changes coming is the Colorado survey being closed down in a year but they are looking at moving into a university. The Louisiana survey is proposed to phase out in 3 years. The Nevada survey is being rolled into the University of Nevada Department of Geosciences.

State surveys overall are continuing a decades long shift from state funding to self funding with grants, contracts, and entrepreneurial funding sources. Total funding of state surveys nationwide will amount to about $250 million this year, but only about 40% come from state funds.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

State Geological Survey Facebook pages

State Geological Survey Facebook pages










New Mexico!/pages/New-Mexico-Bureau-of-Mines-Mineral-Museum/144006618955589



West Virginia!/pages/West-Virginia-Geological-and-Economic-Survey/158454344211301



WV's interactive Marcellus Shale Mapping System

The West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey has created an interactive mapping application,
"Marcellus Shale Mapping System," that displays locations of completed and permitted wells. The web site also provides general information about the Marcellus Shale, including depth and thickness.

Surviving in Louisiana - budget cuts threaten Geological Survey

The Louisiana Geological Survey is set to be cut at least 34% in the new fiscal year and the budget fully phased out in 3 years.

Alan Petzet, the Exploration Editor for the Oil & Gas Journal, wrote an op-ed for the online version of the magazine last week describing the contributions of the Louisiana Geological Survey and the budget threats it is facing.

LGS was transferred from the state's Dept. of Natural Resources in 1997 to Louisiana State University, where it focuses on oil and gas, coastal processes, geologic mapping, water, including modeling freshwater aquifers, mineral resources, and natural hazards, such as responding to Hurricane Katrina.

The LGS Resource Center contains over 60,000 well logs and 30,000 feet of drill cores.