Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Opening for State Geologist of Kansas

The position announcement for Director/State Geologist of the Kansas Geological Survey is now available on-line at http://www.kgs.ku.edu/General/jobs/director.html

and on the AASG web-site at http://www.stategeologists.org/job_posting.php

Review of applications will begin on November 19, 2010. [right, KGS' Moore Hall, on the KU campus, Lawrence, Kansas]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Geologic Mapping & Industrial Minerals job opening at Ohio Geological Survey

Geologist 3 - Ohio Geological Survey

The Ohio Geological Survey seeks applications for the position of Geologist 3 for the Geologic Mapping & Industrial Minerals Group. The successful candidate will be a versatile and highly motivated geoscientist with a thorough understanding of geologic mapping, bedrock geology and stratigraphy, and glacial geology and geomorphology. Background knowledge in areas such as geophysical exploration, interpretation of logs, familiarity with coring, sampling, and drilling, geologic modeling, and GIS, particularly any 3-D or geostatistical analysis is a major plus. A Master’s degree is preferred although a Bachelor’s degree with relevant experience will be considered. The complete job posting will be available on the ODNR website beginning August 23rd. (www.ohiodnr.com); applications will be accepted thru September 3, 2010. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. For more information concerning application procedures, please contact Rene Norris at 614-265-6406. For more information about position duties and qualifications, please contact Mike Angle at 614-265-6602.

Additional info

The Ohio Geological Survey (OGS) is a Division within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, with offices located at Fountain Square in Columbus, Ohio and at Alum Creek State Park in Delaware, Ohio. The Geologic Mapping & Industrial Minerals Group currently has a staff of eight full-time geologists plus a part-time seismologist and technicians/interns. The group is involved in diverse research and mapping of deep subsurface to shallow bedrock and surficial glacial and alluvial deposits. This section is also heavily involved in delineating Ohio’s geohazards including karst terrain, abandoned underground mines, landslides, and shoreline erosion along the Lake Erie coastline. The Group also compiles mineral resource statistics ranging from coal to sand and gravel aggregate

Excellent written and oral communications skills, publications record, and demonstrable mapping and/or GIS experience is preferred.

Computer Skills: Integrated geologic mapping and analysis software (e.g. GeoGraphix), GIS - ESRI Arc/Info including Geostatistical Analyst, Microsoft Office, Fluid flow modeling (e.g. Mod Flow).

In order to be eligible to accept a permanent part-time or full-time job with the state of Ohio, you must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident of this country. Those here on student visas cannot be offered permanent employment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wrap up of AASG annual meeting

The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) convened its 102nd annual meeting in New Brunswick, New Jersey on June 27- July 1. The meeting was hosted by Karl Muessig, state geologist and director of the New Jersey Geological Survey. The New Jersey Geological Survey was concurrently celebrating its 175th year of service to the state, making it one of the oldest state geological surveys in the U.S.

AASG elected its officers for 2010-11, and include: Past president - David Wunsch (NH); President - Jim Cobb (KY); President-elect - Vicki McConnell (OR); Vice president - Harvey Thorleifson (MN); Secretary - Robert Swenson (AK); and Treasurer - Jon Arthur (FL). These officers constitute AASG’s executive committee and will serve a one-year term that begins on July 1, 2010. Other elected officers for the association are Historian - Bill Kelly (NY); Editor - Mike Hohn (WV); and Statistician - Rick Allis (UT).

The AASG, founded in 1908, represents the chief executives of the geologic surveys or bureaus of the 50 states and Puerto Rico. Cumulatively, state geological surveys employ 2,000 earth scientists and engineers and have a combined annual budget of $230 million, making state geological surveys one of the largest geologic enterprises in the U.S. A 2010 survey of affiliations and responsibilities of state geological surveys shows that 35 are state agencies and 16 are university departments. The missions of state surveys vary from state to state but all state surveys conduct geological research, 14 have regulatory responsibilities, 20 manage core and sample collections, 10 do seismic monitoring, 15 maintain groundwater records and monitoring, and 15 maintain oil & gas drilling records. In geologic specialties all state surveys do public outreach, 49 do geologic data preservation, 49 do geologic mapping, 46 do geologic hazards, 45 do mineral resources, and 40 do fossil fuels. More than half of the 51 state surveys are currently doing groundwater, carbon sequestration, and environmental geology research. Many state surveys have responsibilities and expertise not listed here but are individual to each state. Get to know your state geological survey there is something there for everybody.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Surficial Geology of Kansas map online

The Kansas Geological Survey has posted an image of the Surficial Geology of Kansas map online for free downloading. The map is available as M-118 (68 x 39 in., scale: 1:500,000) from the Publications Sales Office of the KGS.

Friday, August 06, 2010

GSA Today: Geological mapping goes 3-D in response to societal needs

The August issue of GSA Today published an article by U.S. state and Canadian Survey geologists on the role of geologic mapping to help decision makers "balance economic growth with environmental protection."
Geological mapping goes 3-D in response to societal needs (pp. 27-29)

Harvey Thorleifson1, Richard C. Berg2, Hazen A.J. Russell3

1 Minnesota Geological Survey,
2 Illinois State Geological Survey,
3 Geological Survey of Canada,


In the early 1800s, state and federal geological survey agencies were conceived to address increasing demands for natural resource information to fuel the Industrial Revolution. More recent urbanization, however, has spurred surveys, along with their university and industry partners, to extend their applications from mining and energy to water supply, engineering, hazards, environment, and climate change, while more directly supporting the needs of decision makers.

Geological maps are at the heart of this decision support system. They are the method geologists use to synthesize and communicate an understanding of earth materials, processes, and history; however, for all geologic mapping, challenges remain in obtaining the information required to construct maps that are meaningful and helpful to users. This is particularly acute for subsurface mapping. Geologists must process data obtained through field work, geophysical surveys, and laboratory analyses and then compile that data to map the composition and distribution of materials in a format and resolution that serves map users. In turn, map users have an obligation to grasp the uncertainty of the map while providing the best possible service to their clients.

Previously, technological and data limitations dictated that a two-dimensional (2-D) paper map—accompanied by at most a few cross sections and a report—was the most appropriate publication format, so users were expected to infer subsurface conditions at their site. Over the past two decades, however, in response to demands for subsurface information in extensive areas of thick sediments and sedimentary rocks, 2-D geological mapping has been superseded by three-dimensional (3-D) mapping. Geological mapping thus has been redefined in these settings—from a single-layer 2-D map to a 3-D model showing thickness and properties of multiple stacked layers (Turner, 2003; Culshaw, 2006).

Having thus raised expectations among users for 3-D mapping, surveys and their partners are now seeking to rapidly improve their methods for construction, dissemination, and use of 3-D geological maps to support decision makers who must balance economic growth with environmental protection.

New publication: The Permian System in Kansas

The Kansas Geological Survey has published, "The Permian System in Kansas," as Bulletin 57.

[right, Permian red beds near Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas; the light-colored “rim rock” is probably the Medicine Lodge Gypsum Member of the Blaine Formation above the red beds of the Flower-pot Shale; from photo files of the Kansas Geological Survey]

Rocks of Permian age in Kansas were first recognized in 1895, and by the early 21st century the internationally accepted boundary between the Permian and the Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian Subsystem) was recognized in Kansas at the base of the Bennett Shale Member of the Red Eagle Limestone. The upper boundary of the Permian is an erosional unconformity that is overlain by rocks of Cretaceous age. Currently accepted stratigraphic nomenclature for the Permian of Kansas recognizes the Wolfcampian, Leonardian, and Guadalupian Series, and the lithostratigraphic formations within each of these series reflect a wide spectrum of depositional environments. Summaries of the lithofacies, thicknesses, depositional environments, and source
areas of, and for, the rocks in each series provide a basis for inferring the history of the Permian in Kansas as currently understood. Fluctuations from shallow-marine to terrestrial environments associated with climate change as a result of the waning of Gondwana glaciers and latitudinal shifts are recorded in the Permian rocks of Kansas. Economically these Permian rocks have been, and are, an important source of hydrocarbons, salt, gypsum, building stone, aggregate, and ground water.

This report on the Permian System in Kansas is “a work in progress” and future multi-disciplinary studies of chrono- and sequence stratigraphy, climate history, structural aspects, sediment transport, and diagenesis will further enhance our understanding of the end of the Paleozoic in Kansas.

The Permian System in Kansas
by R. R. West, K. B. Miller, and W. L. Watney

Monday, August 02, 2010

Wallace Ulrich appointed acting state geologist of Wyoming

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal on July 6 named Wallace Ulrich acting state geologist. Ulrich will lead the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS).

He succeeds Ron Surdam, who is now directing the Carbon Management Institute at the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources.

“I am delighted that an individual of Wally’s stature and experience is willing to step into this extremely important role of public service as the acting state geologist,” Freudenthal said. “Having strong leadership at the survey is important because it is often the first place professionals go to understand the geological resources of the state, and that can lead to exploration and ultimately to development.”

The governor praised the work of Surdam, who was appointed director of the WSGS in 2004.

"I congratulate Ron. I am delighted he will remain in the service of the state. He has been and will continue to be a great asset in maintaining a fully diversified energy economy,” Freudenthal said.

Ulrich, a fifth generation Wyomingite who lives in Fossil and Jackson with his wife, Lisa Samford, and son, Aiden, starts his new job Aug. 2.

Since 1947, Ulrich and his parents, Shirley and Carl Ulrich, have operated the fossil quarries near Kemmerer. His family was instrumental in creating Fossil Butte National Monument west of Kemmerer.

Ulrich is a past chairman and present member of the WSGS advisory board, a trustee of the American Geological Institute Foundation, the chairman of the board of the National Foundation for the Geosciences and the secretary and one of the founders of the Geologists of Jackson Hole.
“I’m just tickled to carry on the great work of Dr. Surdam,” Ulrich said. “He and the governor made great strides in bringing the Wyoming State Geological Survey to where it is, and I hope to continue those efforts. The survey performs remarkably well with a highly dedicated staff that provides excellent services.”

Ulrich added, “The survey has a responsibility to provide the governor, the legislature, Wyoming policymakers and citizens real science for governance decisions, including future projects, research funding and providing services and data.”

Freudenthal said, “Wally’s commitment and passion about geology in Wyoming will serve us all well. I couldn’t be happier about getting Wally on board.”

The mission of the WSGS is to promote the beneficial and environmentally sound use of Wyoming’s vast geologic, mineral and energy resources while helping protect the public from geologic hazards. By providing accurate information and expanding knowledge through the application of geologic principles, the WSGS contributes to economic growth and improvement in the quality of life for Wyoming’s residents.

[press release from the Wyoming State Geological Survey]