Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Charles Gardner, 1937-2011, former State Geologist of North Carolina

We are sorry to report that Charles Gardner, State Geologist of North Carolina from 1990-2002, died on September 22, after a very short illness with metastic melanoma.

Charles was also Head of the Division of Land Resources for the state. His obituary reports that upon his retirement in 2002 Charles was awarded the “Order Of the Long-Leaf Pine”, by the Governor.
Charles also served as President of the American Association of State Geologists and of the American Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

Charles wanted said of him: “He stood in awe of the beauty of nature”

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Earth abides - we need Geological Surveys

Geological Surveys across the nation are in fiscal distress or peril. An op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer makes the case for restoring state funding to the Ohio Geological Survey, by describing the economic benefits the Survey provides back to society.

An economic analysis conducted on the Survey on 2010 data shows that "the products, services and data provided by the Survey contribute an estimated $575 million to the Ohio economy -- in the recession and before the shale frenzy had gripped the state."

The case made for Ohio, is readily applicable to every other geological survey in the nation.

In response to the Ohio op-ed, well known blogger/writer Andrew Alden (About.com) observed that "Businesses and their jobs come and go, but Earth abides, and we need agencies with the state's minerals, lands and waters on their agenda."

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Vermont Geological Survey building out of commission for months from flooding

The Vermont Geological Survey is housed in the Waterbury State Office Complex that was washed out last week by Hurricane Irene flooding.

Vermont State Geologist Larry Becker shared this update with us this morning:

Thanks for thinking of us at the Vermont Geological Survey.

For now we will be working from our homes at least with e-mail and then when our work computers are loaded with software to reach shared drives and software. When the shared drive access works we will have connections to our geologic information. We are out of our building for several months and probably more with occasional access through security to retrieve stuff. 2000 people in the Waterbury State Office Complex are in the same boat.

Email just became available this morning so thanks to everyone making contact. It a testament to the care and support that is the hallmark of our organization [AASG].

Everyone is safe and I was able to drive out to this morning to the main road and found a way to work yesterday.

We have a house sized building that is for the survey but inundated in the basement and also about a foot of water on the first floor. Upstairs is fine so we have moved computers and papers that can be salvaged up there. Some furniture can be saved but everything else will be trashed and moved out to dry out the building.

One good thing is that we are near the end of a geothermal related scanning project so all the key geo reports maps etc are out of the office and now in digital. Our situation shows the importance of going digital!

The state complex in Waterbury is closed for two weeks to a month with no power. The 500 people in the agency we are in will be working from home or temp offices so some of the ancillary services that support us such as access to GIS software will have to wait until servers can be reached from new locations.

A big issue for us is that we lost our plotter in the basement. Insurance will cover it but in the short term I have asked for extensions on grant deliverable dates until we work out access to a plotter over a network.

Thank you for offers of support. I think we are ok for now but I will keep you informed. Our administration is doing the best to get us up and running and I am fully at the table with other divisions during the response.

[the video below is from Vermont tv station WCAX]

Friday, September 02, 2011

Geologic mapping milestone celebration in Kentucky

Celebration of the completion of the 30 by 60 minute geologic map series for Kentucky, is scheduled for December 1, 2011.

The Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky is celebrating a major achievement in the mapping of Kentucky’s geology. KGS has published all 26 maps in the 30 by 60 minute geologic map series and made them available to the public. This achievement is unparalleled by any other state, making Kentucky a leader in geologic mapping and map technology.

These detailed maps show surface and subsurface rock types, formations, and structures such as faults. Geologic formations and faults control the occurrence of minerals and fuels, groundwater, and geologic hazards. These maps are a tremendous contribution to society. The information provided by them assists enormously in the production of resources, protection of groundwater and the environment, stability of foundations and infrastructure, and avoidance of hazards. Because the maps are available on the Web, they are accessible to the public at no cost, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hardcopy versions of the maps can be printed on demand.

These maps are a product of the Kentucky Geological Survey and the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. The contribution of this USGS program to the completion of these maps is significant. Also significant was another geologic mapping partnership between the Kentucky Geological Survey–U.S. Geological Survey from 1960 to 1980 that produced the original geologic maps that laid the framework for this series. The new map series is a testament to the work that can be accomplished through federal-state-university partnerships.

The celebration is being held on December 1, 2011. A super-size geologic map of Kentucky, 10 feet high by 23 feet wide, will be unveiled at a special ceremony and news conference at 11:00 a.m. in the foyer of the Mining and Mineral Resources Building at the University of Kentucky. A symposium on geologic mapping, Celebrating Geologic Mapping for Science and Society, will be held at the University of Kentucky Hillary J. Boone Center from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Participants will include experts from the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, state geological surveys, industry, and academic institutions. For more information, please go to www.uky.edu/kgs, or contact Mike Lynch at mike.lynch@uky.edu or (859) 323-0561.