The future of the Arizona Geological Surveyby Jonathan DuHamel on Oct. 15, 2011, under Geology
The Arizona Geological Survey is facing a normal sunset review in the Arizona legislature Monday, Oct. 17. I urge the legislators to continue the survey because is provides many valuable services and maintains a repository of scientific knowledge about Arizona.
The statutory mission of AZGS is:
1. Serve as a primary source of geologic information in this state to enhance public understanding of the state’s geologic character, geologic hazards and limitations and mineral resources.
2. Inform, advise and assist the public in matters concerning the geological processes, materials and landscapes and the development and use of the mineral resources of this state.
3. Encourage the wise use of the lands and mineral resources of this state toward its development.
4. Provide technical advice and assistance in geology to other state and local governmental agencies engaged in projects in which the geologic setting, character or mineral resources of the state are involved.
5. Provide technical advice and assistance in geology to industry toward the wise development and use of the mineral and land resources of this state.
The Arizona Geological Survey is a leader among state surveys. For instance, last year the Arizona Geological Survey received an $18 million grant from the Department of Energy to lead a coalition of 46 state geologic surveys and universities to study the geothermal resources of the United States.
In April of this year, the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources was deactivated and its duties transferred to the Arizona Geological Survey. These duties include maintaining a repository of mineral and mining information, including databases, books, periodicals, individual mine files, mine map repository files, mining district data and an archive of mine data; and providing quality mining data, evaluation, and assistance relating to mineral development to the legislature, federal, state and local governmental agencies, industry, and the public.
An example of the Arizona Geological Survey’s direct value to citizens is its brochure: A home buyer’s guide to geologic hazards. The Survey has published warnings to the public of the additional consequences of our devastating forest fires: Forest fires create increased danger of destructive debris flows. The Survey provides expertise in the realm of geology as applied to water law and regulation, for instance: San Pedro River Geology – Implications for water law.
You can voice your opinion by sending emails to the co-chairs of the hearing committee: John Nelson, email@example.com and Kate Brophy-McGee, Kbrophymcgee@azleg.gov as well as to your own state representatives.