Friday, October 16, 2009

List of AZGS programs to be eliminated

The Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budget this morning released the lists of state agency programs ( that would have to be permanently eliminated or reduced to meet the state’s budget shortfall. The lists would have to go to the Legislature for consideration. The cuts, if implemented, are calculated for taking effect January 1, 2010.

The Arizona Geological Survey would lose state funding to operate 11 out of a total of 24 programs. Another seven program areas would be reduced by amounts ranging from about 5% up to 50%. The programs were prioritized by an external review panel of AZGS stakeholders (data and service users) that used public input to help guide their recommendations.

Core programs we will attempt to preserve are:
Geologic Hazards
Geologic Mapping
Mineral Resources
Basin Analysis (entirely contract and grant funded).

Most of the eliminated programs have only limited state general fund support to begin with; typically a part of one or two people’s time. AZGS has raised external funds for years to subsidize state-mandated operations. We will continue to seek outside monies to underwrite these functions, but the budget scenario proposes transferring funds from external accounts as well to make up the state budget shortfall, leaving fewer options for us to fund these programs.

AZGS state-funded programs identified for elimination are:

Phoenix Branch Office
Energy Resources
Core and Sample Repository
Education, Outreach, and Tech Transfer
Enterprise Geodatabase
Earth Fissures
Information Technology Support
Website Updates

Areas taking additional cuts due to transfer of agency-generated funds are:

Energy Resources
Map and Book Store (closed for walk-in sales; mail/phone orders only)
Inquiries, Outreach, and Tech Transfer
GIS Map Production and Database Development
Information Technology Support
Technical Support for the AZ Oil & Gas Conservation Commission.

We are implementing additional cost-cutting moves now, including reducing the number of vehicles and office phones, renegotiating service contracts, and transferring staff to new contracts and grant funded projects.


  1. Ouch. That's brutal. Sorry you had to make these tough choices, Lee.

  2. Lee, this is insane. Not even updating the website? Elimination of education and outreach? I understand that there was a process of prioritization, but I wonder who those external stakeholders are trying to provide benefits for...

    Anything that you must eliminate and think may be appropriate for preservation in AHIS, just let me know!

  3. Can you comment specifically on where this leaves your leadership of the Geoscience Information Network (GIN)?

  4. The GIN program is almost entirely funded by external grants, contracts, and agreements. The support comes principally from NSF, DOE, and USGS. We have other proposals and discussions in the pipeline.

    Some of my time would be lost to develop new partnerships and initiatives since in the budget plan, I go to half time unless I can find external funds to support activities beyond the regular agency management.

    But overall, the technical team is in place and their funding is secure.

    I just got to Portland OR for the GSA Annual Meeting with Steve Richard, the system architect for GIN and we have a week of meetings and briefings lined up with partners, subcontractors, and collaborators.