Sunday, March 02, 2008

AZGS: It's been a very good year


It's been so busy that I realized just this weekend that I never posted anything about the AIPG meeting at the AZGS offices a couple weeks ago.

Each year, the Arizona Chapter of AIPG organizes a meeting to review the status of the geosciences in Arizona. It coincides with the Saturday of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show when the AIPG national board of directors is in town for their mid-year meeting.

The presidents of local geoscience professional societies, agencies, and organizations spend the morning with AIPG members discussing what's happening. This year we had about 50 folks in attendance. I spoke about both AZGS and AGS, since I am president of the latter group this year.

My report on AZGS is that the past 18 months have been very good. In that time:
  • AZGS budget increased 50+%
  • AZGS staff increased 62%
  • Web usage (www.azgs.az.gov) increased 1,000% (over 4.5 terabytes downloaded in 2007)
  • Our first branch office in 126 years opened in Phoenix (and now has 5 geologists)
  • We are about to open a retail outlet-information center on the ground-floor of the P-D Tower in downtown Phoenix, that will be a one-stop outlet for all state and federal natural resource and natural history materials and publications (stay tuned - more to come soon)
  • AZGS is the designated lead for the 50 state geological surveys in building a national digital information network in cooperation with the USGS (www.geoinformatics.info)
  • AZGS's new basin analysis program has one of the two largest contracts in our history
  • We have at least 7 new funding sources for grants and contracts
  • The new Geologic Extension Service is actively forming partnerships with the K-12 science education community
A few things are on temporary hold while we wait for final resolution of the state budget situation, but we aren't letting that hold us back from continued expansion and better service to the geoscience community and Arizonans.

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