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

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Idaho Geological Survey makes progress on mining documents

Over 10,000 unique and unpublished mine-related documents are being made available for free download through the Idaho Geological Survey’s mines interactive web map application. Reed Lewis, an IGS geologist pictured here, leads the effort to preserve these documents and make them widely available to the public through the mines app. The effort to process and scan the IGS collection is funded in part by Idaho Department of Lands and the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program. About half of the existing collection is now available online with new scans added frequently.

Shoshone News-Press

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Geologic Mapping Forum, Minneapolis, March 27 to 29, 2018

At the Geologic Mapping Forum in Minneapolis from March 27th to 29th, 2018, ~100 geological map authors, program managers and allied professionals from geological surveys and allied agencies will meet to discuss the status and future of geologic mapping in the USA. Registration, hotel reservations, and abstract submission are now open. The response continues to be very positive; we can look forward to a tremendous meeting!


Incoming State Geologist appointed to Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Ken Hendricks and Erin Campbell have been appointed to the four-member Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission by Gov. Matt Mead. Hendricks, a petroleum engineer, recently retired from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and would replace Tom Fitzsimmons, who has resigned. Campbell, who becomes state geologist on Nov. 21, would join the commission in mid-December, replacing Tom Drean, who is retiring as state geologist.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Texas Bureau Breaks Ground on New Core Research Building

The Texas Bureau of Economic Geology has begun construction on its new core research building, a project that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for scientists conducting research on cuttings and core samples in the Bureau’s Austin Core Research Center.

“Everything we do is built on rocks,” said Bureau director Scott W. Tinker during a groundbreaking ceremony on October 5. “It’s exciting to have this new building to show what we’re all about.”


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pardee session on Geologic Mapping

One of the most prominent sessions at GSA in Seattle was an AASG-cosponsored keynote called ‘Earth Anatomy Revealed: Geologic Mapping for Our Future’. Sixteen prominent speakers in four panels over four hours examined three questions: 1. What is the Role of Geoscience as a Whole, of the Sectors of the Geoscience Community, and of Geological Mapping in Responding to the Needs of Society; 2. How is Geological Mapping Applied in Order to Deliver Benefits to Society; 3. How Are New Perspectives and New Technology Improving Our Ability to Deliver Benefits to Society; and 4. How Are We Organized to Ensure That Geological Mapping Will Bring the Greatest Benefits to Society in the Future? Organizers were Darcy McPhee of USGS, Cassy Rose and Danielle Woodring of AGI, and Harvey Thorleifson of AASG. Audience members typed questions into their phones, and were able to vote for the questions they liked, allowing the moderators to direct the most popular questions to the panel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

GSA is underway in Seattle!

The Geological Society of America annual meeting is underway in Seattle, with over 7000 in attendance. At the AASG Mid-Year meeting this morning, thoughtful remarks were presented by leadership of USGS, National Academies, NSF, NCGMP, AGI, and AIPG; the Frye and Mankin Awards went to Colorado and Maine; while Michael Bograd, Rex Buchanan, Bob Libra, and Jerry Weisenfluh were elected as Honoraries. The postcards are as popular as ever!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bipartisan Congressional support for Geologic Mapping

Land use managers increasingly rely on geologic mapping that returns benefits, including lives saved, resources discovered, costs avoided, increased efficiency, and fundamental understanding.

The National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 therefore mandated the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, which allows partners to work together in building the National Geologic Map Database. The NGMA is, however, due for its fourth reauthorization.

In September, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska cosponsored, with Senator King of Maine, Senate Bill S-1787, whose role is to reauthorize the Act

This month, Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn and Maryland Representative Anthony Brown co-sponsored a corresponding bill, HR-4033.

In a statement, Senator Murkowski stated "We don't have a detailed geologic map for even one-third of the United States, yet it lays the foundation for minimizing risks from natural hazards and is the linchpin to reducing our nation's dependence on foreign minerals".

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Steve Masterman, Alaska State Geologist and 2017/2018 AASG President

At the June 2017 AASG Annual Meeting, Steve Masterman, Alaska State Geologist, was elected AASG President. Prior to his Alaska state government service, Steve worked extensively in the mineral industry, including work in Alaska, Peru and Nevada.He earned a bachelor’s degree in mining geology from the Royal School of Mines, and a master’s degree in geological engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Also elected were Past-President David Spears of Virginia, President-Elect Karen Berry of Colorado, Vice President Richard Ortt of Maryland, Secretary John Metesh of Montana, and Treasurer Harvey Thorleifson of Minnesota