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Special Message from the PCPG President

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

PCPG members and friends,

We all use geologic mapping and know its value and importance to the work that we do.  The Pennsylvania Geological Survey and the Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) via the State Licensing Board requested that PCPG pass along this request to participate in a national assessment of the economic benefits of geological mapping being conducted by the American Association of State Geologists (AASG). 

This link directs you to AASG's online questionnaire, focusing on your use/potential use of geological maps and associated reports, and the value of that use to your business or activity. It will be used nationally and by individual states to justify their geological mapping and associated societal benefits to Congress, state general assemblies, and the public.  The survey takes about 20 minutes.  Please complete this very important survey by November 2, 2020. 

Here is the text of the request with more information on the importance of the study.

Thank you,

Barb Dunst, P.G., President

PA Council of Professional Geologist

This assessment is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted for the discipline of geology. It comes at a time when (1) significant improvements to infrastructure have long been touted at the Federal, State, and local levels, and now more than ever are required for optimum economic recovery, (2) the uncertainty of climate change looms large on the horizon with a real threat to that infrastructure and human livelihood in many areas, (3) understanding geologic hazards are increasingly important due to population growth and existing/expanding infrastructure, and (4) mineral (especially critical minerals) and energy resource assessments are crucial for technological advancements and economic diversification/recovery.

Infrastructure includes the fundamental facilities and systems that provide us with the services that we need for a healthy economy. It therefore includes an understanding of our State’s and Nation’s geology as the “host” of considerable infrastructure development, as well as insight into natural resource and geologic hazard evaluations. However, the ease, efficiency, and costs at which these issues can be addressed, and longer-termed resource sustainability, are directly linked to their natural setting. This applies to (1) mineral or water resource development, (2) construction or improvement of new highways, bridges, sidewalks, and foundations, (3) environmental protection, (4) distribution systems for water and sewer, (5) oil and gas pipelines, (6) energy development, and (7) improvements to recreational areas.  In all cases, an understanding of the interaction of human activity with both the land surface and the subsurface is essential to minimize potential impacts of natural hazards and maximize resource potential, environmental protection, and associated economic benefits. 

I urge you to please fill out the online questionnaire to the best of your ability. The larger the response rate, the more significant are the results, and its eventual outcome for helping to justify this most basic of geologic endeavors. This is also an opportunity for you to tell us of your needs and where you think we should focus activities to best serve you. Please answer as many questions as possible on the survey.

If you should receive more than one request to fill out this survey, you only need to do so once.  If you cannot fill out the questionnaire in one sitting, a button in the upper right, titled “Save and continue later” asks for your email address, and will send you a message with a link directing you to where you left off.  

Please complete the online survey by November 2, 2020. Thank you.

Dick Berg

Director and State Geologist

Illinois State Geological Survey

FYI, if you’d like to see two statewide examples of cost and benefit studies of geological mapping, see the links below.  However, this national survey will be more comprehensive than these previous reports.

Nevada (ZIP file download)


Kentucky (PDF file download)



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Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists
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Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011

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