Saturday, July 31, 2010

AIPG Parker Medal to John Rold

Former Colorado State Geologist John Rold is the 2010 recipient of the Ben H. Parker Memorial Medal from the American Institute of Professional Geologists. According to AIPG:

The Ben H. Parker Memorial Medal is the Institute’s most distinguished award. It was established by the Executive Committee in 1969 in posthumous honor of a truly great leader, who devoted much of his life to improve the quality of geology and geologists and the services they provide. The medal is awarded to individuals who have long records of distinguished and outstanding service to the profession.

The most important criterion for this medal is a continual record of contribution to the profession of geology. A wide variety of contributions can be considered, such as (a) the education and training of geologists, (b) professional development of geologists, (c) service to the Institute, (d) leadership in the surveillance of laws, rules, and regulations affecting geology, geologists, and the public, and (e) activity in local and regional affairs of geologists.
John was director of the Colorado Geological Survey from 1969 - 1992. Phoito credit CGS.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Geologists mapping what lies beneath New Hampshire

The Portland (NH) Press published a nice story on the significance and value to residents of geologic mapping by the New Hampshire Geological Survey. [right, simplified bedrock geologic map of New Hampshire. Credit, NHGS]

An example they gave was that,
After days of torrential rain in March and April, water wouldn't leave the basements of about 15 homes in a Rollinsford neighborhood. The pumping seemed endless, and officials in the Seacoast town needed a solution.

They found it with the New Hampshire Geological Survey office, which had a detailed map pointing out sand and clay layers underground - and an explanation for the continued flooding.

It showed a unique situation where the sand deposits were overlying clay layers, and the water could not percolate down," said David Wunsch, state geologist. "So the basements were flooding and the sand was flowing into the basements because residents were pumping the water so hard, and the foundations were being undercut."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Work plans for AASG geothermal data project

The AASG Geothermal Data Project's Science Advisory Board met in Tucson last Tuesday and Wednesday to review work plans for 33 of the states represented in populating the National Geothermal Data System.

The SAB is making recommendations to project managers on data priorities, quality assurance, and efforts to avoid duplication.

[right, from left to right: sitting, Arlene Anderson, DOE; Steve Richard, AZGS; Ed Deal, MT; Lisa Shevenell, NV; Catherine Martinez-Wells, AZGS; Lee Allison, AZGS; Chacko John, LA; and Rick Allis, UT. Not pictured, John Costain, VA]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

USGS - AASG "Divisions of Geologic Time" released

The USGS has released an upated "Divisions of Geologic Time" produced by
the USGS Geologic Names Committee and the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), which represents an update containing the unit names and boundary age estimates ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).

The fact sheet states that scientists should note that other published time scales may be used, provided that these are specified and referenced (for example, Palmer, 1983; Harland and others, 1990; Haq and Eysinga, 1998; Gradstein and others, 2004; Ogg and others, 2008).

USGS FS 2010-3059: Divisions of Geologic Time - Major Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic Units

This fact sheet is a modification of USGS Fact Sheet 2007–3015 by the U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Names Committee

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Geology positions in CO2 sequestration at Bureau of Economic Geology

Bureau of Economic Geology

John A. & Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences

The University of Texas at Austin

The Gulf Coast Carbon Center, an international leader in CO2 sequestration research, is looking for junior and senior geologists or engineers with expertise in reservoir characterization or reservoir fluid modeling. Previous experience in CO2 sequestration is desirable but is not required. We also have post doctoral fellowship positions available for recent PhDs interested in: risk analysis, geochemical modeling, geomechanical modeling, or fluid flow modeling. Positions include but may not be limited to the following:

Reservoir Geologist/Petrophysicist posting # 100224030708

Reservoir Engineer/Fluid Flow Modelers posting # 100224040708

Research Geologist/Hydrological Modeling Posting # 100224020708

Please refer to the following website for a full description and requirements of each position, and to apply. . Use the corresponding posting number for the position for which you are interested.

Expressions of interest in research positions or post doctoral fellowships can be directed to Dr. Ian Duncan, Associate Director at BEG at

The University of Texas at Austin is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. All positions are security sensitive, and conviction verification is conducted on applicants selected.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ken Weaver service and obituary

The funeral for former Maryland State Geologist Ken Weaver was held yesterday (July 18).

Comments were provided by Emery Cleaves (former MD State Geologist), Torrey Brown (former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources), Robert Jordan (former DE State Geologist), and Ken's daughter Wendy Scheinberg.

Ken's obituary was posted in the Baltimore Sun on Sunday July 18.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bill Fisher receives 'Legendary Oilman Award'

Former Texas State Geologist Bill Fisher recently received the Petroleum History Institute's (PHI) most prestigious award, the 2010 "Colonel Edwin L. Drake, Legendary Oilman Award" for "his lifetime commitment, contributions and achievements in advancing petroleum geology and its application in industry, government and academia." The award was presented at the Honors and Awards Banquet held during PHI's 2010 annual Symposium on the History and Heritage of the Global Petroleum Industry and Associated Field Trips this year April 29 - 1 May in Lafayette, LA. [Bill Fisher, left, and Larry Woodfork, right. Photo courtesy of Larry Woodfork]

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Park Service geology program lauded

The AASG passed the following resolution during its annual meeting last week:

Resolution Recognizing the National Park Service’s Cooperative Efforts on the Geology of our Nation’s Parks

WHEREAS, many of America’s most treasured National Parks were established on the basis of their geologic features, settings, and geologic resources; and

WHEREAS, geologic resources of the National Parks range from the world–renowned sculptured depths of Grand Canyon to the fossils of Dinosaur National Monument to modern sand dunes of Canaveral National Seashore, and geologic resources and the dynamic processes that affect them are inspiring to behold, form the foundation of park ecosystems, and are essential to understanding the natural world; and

WHEREAS, the Geologic Resources Division is a relatively new entity of the of the National Park Service; and

WHEREAS, the Geologic Resources Division has responsibilities for education, interpretation, research, public programs, geo-hazards, minerals, cave and karst resources, land restoration, paleontology, soils, abandoned mines and mineral lands, inventorying and monitoring, and other areas of critical importance to the operation, preservation, and enjoyment of the National Parks; and

WHEREAS, a thorough evaluation of the geologic resources within National Parks is needed for comprehensive management, interpretation, and understanding of park resources; and

WHEREAS, the Geologic Resources Division’s Geologic Resources Inventory is an exemplary cooperative program to provide crucial information to and about our National Parks; and

WHEREAS, the Geologic Resources Division leverages very limited financial and technical resources through truly collaborative and shared activities with external partners including State Geological Surveys, academic institutions, and professional societies resulting in complete scoping meetings in 250 NPS units, producing digital geologic maps for 176 NPS units, and with numerous park mapping projects in progress, resulting in final geologic reports now available for 76 parks:

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: the Association of American State Geologists, on this 30th day of June, 2010 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, recognizes the Geologic Resources Division for its highly effective and successful efforts to improve our understanding, preservation, and management of the geologic resources of the National Park Service; applauds the Geologic Resources Inventory program in particular as a model of federal-state-academia cooperation; and expresses its deep thanks to GRD geologists, and in particular Bruce Heise and Lindsey McClelland, for their leadership, vision, and unselfish dedication in producing this extensive inventory of scientific products and in building and maintaining these partnerships.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this resolution will be delivered to the Secretary of Interior, chief of the NPS Geologic Resources Division, NPS Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, and the Director of the NPS.

Ken Weaver, former Maryland State Geologist

We just learned that Ken Weaver, Director of the Maryland Geological Survey from 1963 to 1992, passed away yesterday. [right, Ken (r) with Chris Slaughter, on Chesapeake Bay. Credit, MGS]

Ken received the American Geological Institute (AGI) Ian Campbell Medal in 2001, with this citation:
“Dr. Weaver built a respected research and service unit in the Maryland Geological Survey,” says his citationist, Dr. Robert R. Jordan, Director and State Geologist of the Delaware Geological Survey. “Note that the magnificent home of the Maryland Geological Survey is officially named the Kenneth N. Weaver Building – a singular honor by his state – and that several hundred thousand visitors a year are introduced to science at the Sideling Hill Visitors’ Center that Ken developed,” Jordan added. The Center, which opened in 1991, is located at a rest area along Interstate 68 in Maryland. A dramatic syncline is exposed at the site demonstrating the folding of the Appalachians when two tectonic plates collided during the Permian period.

Weaver is from a Mennonite family of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He served as a Merchant Marine and then studied geology at Franklin and Marshall College and The Johns Hopkins University, where he completed his Ph.D. As Jordan notes in Weaver’s citation, “His graduate career started with an induction notice and ended with transformation from Ph.D. to PFC, this time with the Army Operations Research Office.”

In 1956, Weaver joined Medusa Corporation as Chief Geologist and later became Manager of its Geology and Quarry Department. He was appointed State Geologist and Director of the Maryland Geological Survey in 1963, a position he held for almost 30 years.

Weaver’s service to the profession is widely recognized. Honors include the Van Couvering Award, American Institute of Professional Geologists; the Cohee Public Service Award, American Association of Petroleum Geologists; and the John Wesley Powell Award, U.S. Geological Survey. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a past president of the Association of American State Geologists, and has served on the Executive Committee of the American Geological Institute. He is the 20th recipient of the Ian Campbell Medal.

The Maryland Board of Public Works renamed Bennett Hall, the home of the Maryland Geological Survey, the Kenneth N. Weaver Building on September 28, 1994, in honor of Dr. Kenneth N. Weaver, who served as State Geologist and Director of the Maryland Geological Survey from 1963 to 1992. The renaming was a fitting tribute, because it was largely Dr. Weaver's vision and leadership that led to DNR's acquisition of the property and to its subsequent renovation and restoration.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Nevada's Price to receive GSA Public Service Award

Jon Price, State Geologist of Nevada, and Director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, will receive the Geological Society of America's Public Service Award for 2010.

"The GSA Public Service Award in honor of Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker, was established by Council in 1998 to be awarded for contributions that have materially enhanced the public's understanding of the earth sciences, or significantly served decision-makers in the application of scientific and technical information in public affairs and public policy related to the earth sciences."

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

States to add new geothermal data to national system

State geological surveys will be gathering new state-specific data to contribute to the DOE-supported National Geothermal Data System.

Arlene Anderson, DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Team Lead for Strategic Planning, Analysis and Geothermal Informatics, briefed attendees at the AASG annual meeting last week that the cooperative agreement between AASG and DOE (managed by the Arizona Geological Survey) would expand the effort for collection of new data:

The expectation is that the new data will lead to derived geothermal gradients, heat flow, thermal conductivity, radioactive heat production numbers, and other geothermal relevant data as necessary in areas where such data are inadequate or lacking.

DOE will provide an additional $4.058 million of ARRA funding to the existing project for a new total of $21.94 million.

In related news, all 50 states are now represented in the project with the addition of data resources from Maryland and Delaware last week.

[cross posted at]

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Vicki Cowart to receive AGI's Campbell Medal

The 2010 winner of the AGI Medal in Memory of Ian Campbell for Superlative Service to the Geosciences will be Vicki J. Cowart, former State Geologist of Colorado.

The Campbell Medal is AGI's highest award, given in recognition of singular performance in and contributions to the profession of geology. Campbell was a man of remarkable accomplishment and widespread influence. He was a geologist, educator, administrator, and public servant. The Campbell Medal holds special significance for AASG, due to the role that Ian Campbell played in AASG, and due to the respect and admiration that the AASG community felt for Ian. AASG therefore was active in its establishment, and remains very active in its support.

Vicki is being recognized as a founder of the Association for Women Geoscientists, former Colorado State Geologist, and a past President of AASG. Prior to her Survey work, she spent 16 years in the petroleum industry.

Vicki was the highly effective State Geologist of Colorado and Director of the Colorado Geological Survey from 1992 until 2003. She was AASG Annual Meeting host in 1997, Statistician from 1996 until 1999, Treasurer in 1999, and President in 2001.

Vicki is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Early in her career she worked as a geophysicist for several oil and gas companies and was a District Manager for Schlumberger Well Services. Vicki is a Director of the Colorado School of Mines Foundation and is a past President of the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association Board of Directors. Update, 7-9-10: In 2008, the Governor of Colorado appointed her one of seven Trustees of the Colorado School of Mines.

Environmental geology award to Utah Geological Survey team

The 2010 winners of the John C. Frye Memorial Award, for the best nominated environmental geology paper published by GSA or a state geological survey in one of the three previous calendar years, will be William Lund, Tyler Knudsen, Garrett Vice, and Lucas Shaw of the Utah Geological Survey. The authors will be recognized for the excellence of their work at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver in November.


Cobb to lead AASG; new officers in place

Results of election of officers for AASG for the next year were announced at the annual meeting on Wednesday:

President - Jim Cobb (KY) [right, credit KGS]
President-Elect - Vicki McConnell (OR)
Vice President - Harvey Thorleifson (MN)
Secretary - Robert (Bob) Swenson (AK)
Treasurer - Jon Arthur (FL)
Editor-Pub Manager - Michael Hohn (WV)
Statistician - Rick Allis (UT)
Historian - William Kelly (NY)
Past-President - David Wunsch (NH)

AASG Presidential Awards

AASG President David Wunsch (NH) gave Presidential Awards to State Geologists Vicki McConnell (OR) and Lee Allison (AZ) at the during the AASG annual meeting banquet on Wed. night in New Jersey.

The awards are given "to recognize extraordinary service to the objectives of AASG by one or more active member(s) of the AASG community, during the preceding year." [photo credits, NJ Geological Survey]

AASG presents Distinguished Service Awards

Outgoing AASG President David Wunsch (NH) presented Distinguished Service Awards to 2 former State Geologists and one of our Associates at the organization's annual banquet on Wednesday night at the close of the annual meeting in New Brunswick New Jersey.

Awards were given to Emery Cleaves (MD) [left], John Kiefer (KY) [right] and Ernie Mancini (AL) [not pictured]. [photo credits, NJ Geological Survey]

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to particularly deserving retired or retiring State Geologists, Associates, and Honorary Members other than current officers who deserve to be recognized for the excellence of their efforts over the long term, and their pride in advancing our science and its application, in improving the work of State Geological Surveys, in improving dissemination of the knowledge we produce, in achieving effective coordination with partner agencies, and in promoting camaraderie among the membership of AASG.

Profile and interview of Missouri's first woman state geologist

Mimi Garstang, former State Geologist for Missouri, was the featured speaker at the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) breakfast on April 12, 2010 at the Geological Society of America (GSA) North Central/South Central sectional meeting in Branson. Missouri. That resulted in an interview and profile of Mimi in the AWG monthly magazine Gaea. [right, credit AWG Gaea]

Mimi's talk focused on advice for young professionals just getting started with their careers: Continue to learn
  • Don’t be afraid of a challenge
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Be true to your colors
  • Network
  • Push to be a better communicator

Texas' Tinker hailed as "Industry Icon"

Texas State Geologist Scott Tinker was profiled in the January 2010 issue of Oil and Gas Investor as the magazine begins "a monthly series profiling influential individuals who will change the
energy industry in the new decade and beyond."

Scott has directed the Bureau of Economic Geology at Univ. Texas, Austin since 1999. He is the on-screen narrator of a full-length documentary on world energy that is due to be released in August 2010.