Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Michael Hohn stepping down as West Virginia State Geologist

Michael Hohn will retire from his position as Director and State Geologist, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, at the end of December, 2017, after twelve years of service in this position. On January 1st, 2018, coal geologist and paleobotanist Mitch Blake will move up to be his successor.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

American Geosciences Institute Building Renovation

"Next year AGI will open its newly renovated state-of-the-art LEED-certified, Energy Star building to share our space, resources, and science expertise with local non-profit organizations, schools, small businesses and community partners. The newly refurbished space will provide AGI staff and community partners with more opportunities to host educational programs and workshops with hundreds of new students and teachers, local community leaders and small businesses in the Alexandria community."



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Executive Order on Critical Minerals

A Presidential executive order on a federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals, issued December 20, 2017, includes the assertion that the USA is limited by a lack of comprehensive, machine-readable data concerning topographical, geological, and geophysical surveys. Among several actions, the order calls for a plan to improve the topographic, geologic, and geophysical mapping of the United States and make the resulting data and metadata electronically accessible.

DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke followed up with a secretarial order, directing the initial steps to producing the first nationwide geological and topographical survey of the United States in modern history, and also to begin work on identifying domestic sources for critical minerals.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Tim Petty nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Water and Science)

Dr. Petty has been serving as Deputy Legislative Director and Legislative Assistant on issues of water, natural resources, environment, science, technology and telecommunications and space for U.S. Senator James E. Risch of Idaho, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Previously, Dr. Petty served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water & Science at DOI under President George W. Bush. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks; an M.S. from University of Maryland University College; and a B.S. from Purdue University (Indiana). Prior to his current Senate service, Dr. Petty worked for U.S. Senators Connie Mack of Florida and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Petty worked in California and Indiana as a geologist and hydrogeologist.


10th North American 3D Geological Mapping Workshop

The 1815 William Smith geological map of England and Wales, seen as the first geological map, was 3D to the extent that it was accompanied by cross-sections. Since then, geological mapping has become fundamental to all geoscience. In the late 1990s, geological survey agencies began to more comprehensively map the thickness and properties of multiple strata, and selected deformed structures, in a 3D GIS environment. 3D models are quickly becoming the standard for assessing resource potential and geological risk for both industry and government, and are frequently used to assist with stakeholder engagement and communication. Speakers from North America, Europe, and China are confirmed. The workshop is a pre-meeting short course at RFG2018. The workshop will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 2018, in Vancouver, Canada. The fee is $240.00, with lunches included. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

AGI critical issues webinar on Geologic Mapping to Empower Communities: Examples from the Great Lakes

Less than one-third of the U.S. is mapped at the level of detail necessary to make informed planning decisions concerning natural resources, hazards, infrastructure, and environmental stewardship. The Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (GLGMC) therefore is producing detailed 3D geologic maps that are helping to provide decision-relevant information to Great Lakes state communities. Due to similar geology, state geological surveys in this region can work together with USGS, sharing their expertise to better address geologic issues. The American Geosciences Institute webinar, December 6 at 1:30 PM EST and then available on YouTube,  will introduce geologic mapping, showcase projects from the GLGMC, and describe planning decisions based on their work. The speakers will be Dick Berg and Jason Thomason of Illinois State Geological Survey, Harvey Thorleifson of Minnesota Geological Survey, and John Yellich of Michigan Geological Survey