Your Window on AGI Perspectives and Activities
September/October 1998

  • Groat, Mulvihill, and Picard to Receive AGI Awards
  • Earth Science Week is Here
  • Perspective: The Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition
  •     by Thomas M. Berg, State Geologist of Ohio
  • Training Earth Science Teachers
  • Interns Learn at AGI
  • Looking Ahead (Calendar)
  • Petroleum Geoscience Scholars Program Extends to Kazakhstan
  • In Brief

  • Groat, Mulvihill, and Picard to Receive AGI Awards
    Dr. Charles G. Groat
    The American Geological Institute (AGI) will present its most prestigious award, the Ian Campbell Medal, to former AGI executive director Dr. Charles G. Groat on Oct. 27, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Toronto. Known to many as "Chip," Groat is associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Projects at the University of Texas-El Paso. In July, President Clinton nominated Groat as the next director of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

    AGI will give two other awards during the GSA meeting. John Mulvihill, who directed AGI's GeoRef database for almost 25 years, will receive the Heroy Award for Distinguished Service to AGI. Dr. M. Dane Picard, a professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah, will receive the 1998 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of Geology. 

    Groat is a highly distinguished professional in the earth-science community. He directed UT-El Paso's Center for Environmental Resource Management after joining the university in 1995 from Louisiana State University (LSU). He also directed the Center for Coastal, Energy, and Environmental Resources at LSU from 1991 to 1995. From 1978-1990, Groat held positions at LSU and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and also served as director and state geologist of the Louisiana Geological Survey. He served as executive director of AGI from 1990 to 1992.

    Groat has served on earth-science boards and committees and has authored and contributed to numerous publications and articles on major issues involving earth resources and the environment. His recent work has emphasized environmental geology and the use of scientific information in resource development and in making decisions about the environment. He earned his Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Texas at Austin.
    Mulvihill directed AGI's GeoRef database from 1974 until he retired in February. GeoRef is a collection of 2.1 million bibliographic references to journals, books, maps, and other geoscience publications in 40 different languages. Mulvihill took charge of the database in its early stages, when it contained only 217,000 references, and guided its development and technical modernization. He earned his master's degree in library science from the University of Texas in 1960.   
    John Mulvihill
    Dr. M. Dane Picard
    Picard, a professor and poet, has published technical research papers and books, such as Mountains and Minerals, Rivers and Rocks: A Geologist's Notes from the Field, published in 1993. He has been a professor at the University of Utah since 1968, teaching petrology, basin analysis, and depositional environments. In 1997, The National Association of Geoscience Teachers gave him its James Shea Award for outstanding writing about geoscience for the general public. Picard received an Honorary Membership Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and was named a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Wyoming in 1994. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Picard earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1963. 
    At an awards reception held each year during the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, AGI honors outstanding members of the geoscience profession and pays tribute to the many professional volunteers and supporters who contribute to the success of the institute's programs.

    Earth Science Week is Here

    The first annual Earth Science Week, a celebration of the earth sciences and their contributions to society, is Oct. 1117. Nineteen state governors have proclaimed Earth Science Week and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden entered the Earth Science Week Proclamation (written by the Association of American State Geologists) into the Congressional Record July 15.
    Julie Jackson, program manager for Earth Science Week, says AGI has mailed more than 7,500 Earth Science Week information packets in response to a wave of requests. The institute initiated Earth Science Week and has been disseminating information to interested volunteers across the country.

    During the week, schools, universities, museums, state geological surveys, and geoscience societies are hosting special events throughout the country to highlight earth scientists and the contributions they make to our understanding of Earth. The philosophy behind Earth Science Week is that geology and the earth sciences are fundamental to society and to our quality of life, Jackson says.

    A few activities planned for the week include:


    The Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition

    by Thomas M. Berg, State Geologist of Ohio

    The geological surveys of the central Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio have teamed up with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to tackle one of the most urgent geologic-mapping needs in the nation. These four states account for 50 percent of the gross national product of the United States and contain one-sixth of the national population. The central Great Lakes states also have a common geological history of multiple continental glaciations that left behind extensive deposits of clay, silt, sand, gravel, and boulders, some exceeding 100 feet in thickness. When people in these states interact with Earth, they are dealing most often with glacial deposits.

    Management of the land and its water, mineral, and biological resources requires a detailed and accurate understanding of the three-dimensional framework of these deposits. Issues of water quantity and quality, point-source and nonpoint-source pollution, transportation and utility infrastructure, agricultural management, geological hazards, waste management, biodiversity, industrial-mineral supplies, and energy resources require three-dimensional geologic maps of the glacial and periglacial deposits the materials that citizens interact with on a daily basis. For example, the glacial sediments in the four-state region include extensive concentrations of sand and gravel that are needed for construction and for infrastructure maintenance. The extensive glacial deposits also include some of the most productive buried-valley aquifers of the Midwest. Some of the glacial deposits are susceptible to liquefaction during earthquakes, and structures built on such materials can collapse.
    Less than two percent of the area of the four states is covered by glacial geologic maps that show the third dimension and show enough detail to address all of these concerns. It is important to map the third dimension because the internal composition of these unconsolidated materials is often highly variable. Also, in many cases, the distribution of buried-valley aquifers has little or no relationship to present-day river courses.
    This third dimension cannot be mapped by traditional surficial-mapping techniques. Costly drilling and geophysical methods must be used. Expeditious development of this kind of geologic information will require resources and capabilities beyond those of a single geological survey.
    Recognizing the urgent need for this geologic mapping, the geological surveys of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio and the USGS have formed a partnership called the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition in order to conduct an aggressive program to create 3-D maps of surficial materials. The pooling of expertise, training, talent, experience, and equipment among the four state surveys and the USGS will promote efficient, uniform, and detailed geologic mapping of this type. The Coalition expects to conduct this mapping under the aegis of the FEDMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP)*. With adequate funding for the NCGMP, the Coalition will be able to move dynamically forward in its mapping. The USGS contributed last year to the Coalition effort by training the staff members of all the surveys in three-dimensional, surficial-materials mapping through a program called "Surfschool."
    A mapping program plan that will involve a three-year start-up phase, followed by a long-range intensive mapping phase, is being finalized by the state surveys and the USGS. Hiring and training of new personnel at all five surveys will be necessary. The expenses of new equipment, staff, field work, and technology transfer are to be spread over 17 years. The state surveys and the USGS believe that the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition will serve as a new model for collaboration between state and federal geological surveys. GeoSpectrum readers will hear more about this ambitious program in the future.

    *More information about the NCGMP is at .

    Training Earth Science Teachers

    About 90 secondary-level science teachers will attend workshops this year to learn how to implement EarthComm, or Earth System Science in the Community, a high-school curriculum for earth science being developed by the American Geological Institute with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Three workshops took place this summer and a fourth will start this fall. The workshops began the teacher enhancement component of EarthComm and were funded by a grant from the Exxon Education Foundation.
    Teacher enhancement is part of AGI's mission to not only develop a new curriculum for teaching earth science, but to show teachers how to integrate that curriculum into their classrooms and lesson plans. "Your curriculum will live or die based on the quality of the teacher enhancement program you develop," says Michael Smith, director of AGI's Department of Education and principal investigator for EarthComm. Very few public schools offer earth-science courses. Many students learn bits and pieces of earth science from teachers instructing them in chemistry, physics, or integrated science classes. "We now have K-12 earth-science standards in national reform documents, and many states are integrating earth science into their own science frameworks, but there's little out there in the way of reform-based curricula, particularly in high-school earth science," Smith says. "We need to find ways to help teachers understand and buy into EarthComm and to implement it into their classrooms."

    The workshops are meant to develop, test, and evaluate training materials that will prepare high-school teachers to teach using EarthComm curriculum materials and methods. Smith says the Exxon grant helped the EarthComm project bring teachers and administrators to the workshop sites, collect information about their perceptions of what it would take to implement EarthComm into their classrooms, and assess their understanding of inquiry-based learning and earth science. The teacher comments and observations collected during this year's pilot phase (the four workshops) will be used to develop a national EarthComm teacher enhancement program.

    Teachers attended five-day workshops at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, San José State University, and Georgia State University. A fourth workshop will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a Saturday graduate course. Ellen Metzger and Richard Sedlock, geology professors at San José State who work with the Bay Area Earth Science Institute, conducted the San José workshop July 1317, which drew 15 teachers. "I felt there was a great deal of excitement on the part of the teachers that some materials are emerging that they can use," Metzger says. "A real frustration for earth-science teachers has been that there's nothing to work with." Many teachers piece together lesson plans from different books they find on their own. "EarthComm represents a more coherent approach to teaching earth science," Metzger says.

     David C. Gosselin, an associate professor in the University of Nebraska's School of Natural Resource Sciences who works with the Nebraska Earth Science Education Network, and Ed Robeck of Hastings College in Nebraska, led the University of Nebraska workshop. The June 1519 workshop attracted 19 teachers from around the state. "AGI should be complemented for bringing teachers in this early," Gosselin says, adding that it gives teachers opportunities to critique the curriculum. "You have a much better chance of making a product that people can really use." He says the teachers in his workshop liked the community component of EarthComm, which encourages teachers to expose students to their local geologic phenomena and resources. "They were very positive about the applications of earth science to the community getting students to learn about their own environments."

    Inquiry-based learning
    The workshops also exposed the teachers to the concept of inquiry-based learning, which is central to EarthComm and was new to many of the teachers. Inquiry-based learning steers away from lectures, and encourages students to ask and answer questions in order to learn. The National Science Education Standards, on which EarthComm is based, also incorporates inquiry. "The role of teachers shifts from providing all of the content knowledge to students to that of helping students conceptualize, design, and conduct inquiry," Smith says. Metzger says the teachers in her workshop were excited about being exposed to the early development stages of a new type of curriculum.

    Middle School teachers Dean Hodges (foreground) and Rick Carreiro practise using EarthComm activities at a workshop at San José State University.
    What they'll take back 

    Some of the teachers volunteered to pilot test the EarthComm curriculum in their classrooms. Others said they would try specific activities with their students. Ann McCartney, who teaches geology at Georgia State University and coordinates Elementary Science Education Partners, led a training workshop of 32 teachers. She says EarthComm is desperately needed by high-school earth-science teachers because it will be the first comprehensive earth- science curriculum they've had available to them. The workshop and the curriculum, she says, "were a rejuvenation of their batteries they get frustrated with the stuff that's out there." She added that a coherent earth-science curriculum will make it easier for all high-school science teachers to incorporate earth science into their daily lesson plans. 

    Interns Learn at AGI

    Five geoscience students participated in AGI's internship program this summer, completing special projects for the institute and learning about possible career paths in the geosciences. Three of the interns participated in the Public Policy Summer Internships program funded by AGI and the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

    One of those public-policy interns was Joy Roth, who earned her master's degree from Rice University in May. In October, she will join Texaco Exploration and Production Inc. in New Orleans as an exploration geoscientist. Like the other public-policy interns, Roth tracked legislation affecting geoscientists, wrote summaries of the legislation for AGI's Government Affairs Program web site, and attended hearings, press conferences, and forums on Capitol Hill. Roth says she learned that "geoscientists can actually have a role in affecting the legislation that will in turn affect them." She investigated wetlands issues, research and development on methane hydrates, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and oil exploration, and the science behind the global warming debate. Roth says her AGI internship exposed her to the variety of careers available in the geosciences. "In school, we only see the academic side of science," she says. Eventually, she'd like to pursue a career involving technology transfer within companies or government or involving sustainable development practices in industry.
    Margaret Baker is a senior at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, earning a double major in geology and Asian studies. She came to AGI knowing the wide variety of geoscience careers available, but says her work with the Government Affairs Program helped her confirm how much she enjoys the policy side of science. "I like that we bridge the difference between the unknown beast of the legislative process and scientists who are kept in their own worlds," she says. She conducted research in response to specific requests from AGI member societies, including the amount of funding for geoscience in the Department of Defense fiscal year 1999 budget. Baker says she would eventually like to earn a master's degree that combines business, geology, and public policy.
    Shannon Clark, who is earning her master's degree in geology from Southern Methodist University in Texas, also worked in the Government Affairs Program researching legislation. "The internship allowed me to combine my interests in government and science," she says. "I learned that the public policy field needs more involvement from the geoscience community in planning environmental- and geology-related legislation." She plans to attend the University of Texas Law School after she receives her master's degree. At AGI, she completed a project on geoscience education in the federal government and covered legislation related to climate change, public lands, and the President's Council on Sustainable Development.
    Julie Jackson, program coordinator for the first annual Earth Science Week, received help from Sarah Gollust, a sophomore at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. "What I found most valuable was learning about this whole field of science communications that all these societies exist to communicate science," Gollust says. She wrote, edited, and designed a 32-page book of ideas and activities for Earth Science Week and maintained a database of the museums, societies, volunteers, teachers, and thousands of other individuals requesting information about Earth Science Week. Gollust says she will pursue a major either in biology or earth and environmental science, and in the future pursue a career in a field of oceanography or marine biology.
    Readers of Geotimes will notice a new name in the August and September issues. Josh Chamot, who graduated in May from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and is now earning his master's degree in geology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, spent his summer writing and editing for Geotimes. He also fixed incorrect Internet links to the AGI web site and created a proposal for how to improve the Geotimes site. "I am now confident that I will enjoy a career in science journalism," Chamot says. He would like to earn his Ph.D. in geology and then pursue a science journalism career. He says his internship showed him the basics required for producing a magazine and for designing an effective web site.

    Looking Ahead: see the Events Calendar on the Geotimes web site.


    Petroleum Geoscience Scholars Program Extends to Kazakhstan

    Nine geoscience students from Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan arrived in the United States in August to begin advanced training programs in technology focused on petroleum exploration and production. All are participants in the CIS Petroleum Geoscience Scholars program, established five years ago as the U.S.-Russian Geoscience Exchange Program by AGI and the Russian Federal Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources (ROSCOMNEDRA). Since then the program has expanded to Azerbaijan and, beginning this year, Kazakhstan. The program is sponsored each year by U.S. petroleum companies.
    The students will attend classes at the University of Texas at Austin or Texas A&M University in College Station. Next May, they will participate in 8-week internships with a sponsoring corporation ARCO, Exxon Ventures (CIS), Frontera Resources Corp., Mobil, or Texaco.
    Two of last year's students will remain in the United States after receiving year-long fellowships to complete their master's degrees in the Program in Energy and Mineral Resources at the University of Texas at Austin, starting this fall. Anastasia Schelochkova, who graduated from the Moscow Geological Prospecting Academy in 1997, received a $15,000 University Fellowship. Viktoria Gosteva, who also graduated from the Moscow Geological Prospecting Academy in 1997, received a $1,000 fellowship from the David Bruton Jr. Endowment Fund.

    In Brief

    19981999 Editions of AGI Directories Published
    The newest editions of the Directory of Geoscience Departments (DGD) and The Guide to Geoscience Departments in the United States and Canada, published by AGI, will be available in October.
    Now in its 37th edition, the DGD provides an alphabetical listing of 1,030 geoscience departments in both two- and four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The directory's listing of about 14,000 geoscientists in North America provides their fields of specialty and contact information.

     The Guide to Geoscience Departments in the United States and Canada serves as a valuable companion to the DGD. Now in its sixth edition, the guide contains in-depth profiles of 189 academic departments. The two directories are available from the AGI Publications Center, P.O. Box 205, Annapolis Junction, Md. 20701. Telephone: (301)953-1744. Fax: (301)206-9789.  E-mail: Make check or money order payable to the American Geological Institute.

    Pamela Dupree Takes Over GeoRef's Document Delivery Service
    In July, AGI welcomed Pamela Dupree as the new coordinator of GeoRef's Document Delivery Service (DDS). Dupree moved to the Washington, D.C. area from Coral Springs, Fla., where she worked in bookstores and public-school libraries.
    DDS orders are received daily worldwide from users of the GeoRef bibliographic database. To fill requests for documents, Dupree works with a research consultant at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to acquire copies of documents held by USGS or the Library of Congress. She also acquires dissertations and theses from universities and obtains documents from Moscow and the National Geological Library in Beijing. To use DDS, contact Dupree at

    Member Societies Featured in Publications Catalog

    Eleven member societies have joined AGI in producing a special 50th anniversary catalog to promote publications and services. The catalog celebrates 50 years of federation among geoscience societies and marks the first joint marketing effort of this kind among AGI and its member societies. The catalog will be mailed to more than 66,000 geoscientists in the United States. AGI will also provide copies to the participating societies.

    SEG Offers Student Research Grants

    Students of mineral resources may apply for thesis research grants available in 1999 from the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and the SEG Foundation. The grants provide partial support of master's and doctoral thesis research for graduate students. Grants from the Hugh E. McKinstry Fund support research with a substantial field component. Grants from the Hickok- Radford Fund support field projects in arctic, sub-arctic, or other challenging field areas. Grants funded in part by BHP Minerals support research in economic geology focusing on new descriptive data or on ore deposits, mining districts, and topical subjects.
    The 1999 awards total $50,000 with individual grants ranging from $500 to $3,000. Obtain application forms from Chair, SEG Student Research Grants, 5808 South Rapp Street, Suite 209, Littleton, Colo. 80120. Phone: (303)797-0332. Fax: (303)797-0417. Forms are also on the Web at
    1998 AGI Executive Committee
    President Susan M. Landon
    President-Elect David A. Stephenson
    Secretary M. Charles Gilbert
    Treasurer William A. Thomas
    Member-at-Large Suzanne B. O'Connell
    Member-at-Large Russell G. Slayback
    Member-at-Large Steven M. Stanley
    Past President Edward C. Roy Jr.
    Chairman, Foundation 
    Board of Trustees
    Thomas M. Hamilton
    Executive Director Marcus E. Milling

    Please send any comments or questions about Geospectrum to Kristina Bartlett, editor, at

    Last updated September 3, 1998. 

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