Saturday, October 15, 2011

David Wunsch appointed Delaware State Geologist

Dr. David Wunsch has been appointed State Geologist and Director of the Delaware Geological Survey, effective November 1.

David is currently Director of Science & Technology at the National Ground Water Association and previously served as State Geologist of New Hampshire. He also worked at the Kentucky Geological Survey and was a Congressional Fellow.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Michigan Geological Survey finds new home at Western Michigan University

State legislation signed Oct. 11 by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder transfers the Michigan Geological Survey from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to Western Michigan University. It will become part of the University's Department of Geosciences, which already is home to the Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education. [right, Michian Basin. Credit, WMU]

The transfer has been under discussion since 2009. The transfer of data and collections already is taking place and will likely be completed within a year. The transfer legislation calls for the regulatory role of the survey to remain with the DEQ, while the state gains essential geological information and the expertise needed to:
  • develop oil and gas supplies
  • protect groundwater resources
  • identify geological hazards
  • provide educational opportunities for students and the general public
Dr. Alan Kehew, a professor of geosciences and an expert on glacial geology of Michigan, has been appointed as the director of the Survey.

[taken in part from the WMU news release]

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Michigan Geological Survey law passed

The Michigan Legislature has passed a bill transferring a variety of duties from the Office of Geological Survey in the Dept. of Environment Quality, to a new Michigan Geological Survey based at Western Michigan University. The OGS would be constituted as the Office of Oil, Gas, and Mining.

This is widely viewed as a positive step for the geologic profession in Michigan. The OGS is heavily dominated by their regulatory duties and has limited ability to carry out traditional geological survey activities.

The Governor of Michigan is expected to sign the bill this week.

USGS Director lays out critical need for State Geological Surveys

Marcia McNutt, Director of the USGS, told the AASG mid-year meeting attendees that the USGS needs to weigh in on the unprecedented challenges facing state geological surveys. She specifically called out the threats to shut down the Louisiana Geological Survey, saying if there was any state that has the needs for dynamic geological survey, it's Louisiana. AASG is meeting at the GSA annual meeting in Minneapolis.

Marcia said she and her senior management team is working on a strong public statement about the role and and importance of State Geological Surveys.

Monday, October 10, 2011

State Geologists honored at GSA

Three State Geologists were inducted as Fellows of the Geological Society of America last night at the annual meeting in Minneapolis - Vicki McConnell of Oregon, John Steinmetz of Indiana [left], and Harvey Thorleifson of Minnesota [right], who is also General Chair of the meeting.