Arizona Geological Society


Upcoming events

    • 02 Aug 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by: National Exploration, Wells and Pumps

    The Future of State Geological Surveys: the Arizona Case Study

    Lee Allison, State Geologist and Director, Arizona Geological Survey

    Abstract: The Arizona Geological Survey lost its funding as a state agency on June 30, 2016 and its duties transferred to the University of Arizona, as a consequence of Governor Doug Ducey’s initiative to consolidate and downsize state government and provide annual tax cuts.

    While the Governor’s office assured stakeholders the Surveys staff, assets, and capabilities would remain intact, their expectation was that the University would assume all the costs for the Survey operations. The University however, expected to receive an additional state appropriation for taking on what had been state service duties.  Despite no funding specifically appropriated for AZGS, UA is providing partial funding to AZGS for one year.  By July 2017 the Survey must become fully self-supporting, through grants, contracts, and fees for services.  What is currently available for free, such as online earth fissure maps, mining files, and publications, may soon be put behind a paywall.

    Our office space at UA is approximately one-quarter the size of its former state offices, limiting the ability to house staff, files, and records. Consequently, AZGS closed its Phoenix branch office, shut down the Arizona Experience store, and both libraries.   About half of the Tucson library was given away to university and state libraries, professional societies, individuals and companies.   More than 25,000 topo maps were given away in the last days before the state offices were vacated.  However, about one-fourth of the library and 5-10,000 topo maps went into the dumpster.  The staff has reduced by one-third since the Governor announced the consolidation, due to uncertainties over the future of the Survey, and layoffs are anticipated due to the loss of revenues, reducing the staff by another 15-20%.  The AZGS Economic Geology has lost all of its staff, which is ironic as Arizona is the number 1 non-fuel mining state in the country.

    State geological surveys across the country are facing unprecedented challenges.  The Colorado Survey lost its state funding, found a home at the School of Mines and is rebuilding as the state has incrementally refunded the agency as lawmakers discovered the loss of critical functions.  The Nevada Survey lost 50% of its funding during the Great Recession but again, is rebuilding as critical functions are being restored.   The Illinois Survey, the largest in the nation, has lost 20% of its funding due to state budget issues.   Nationwide, state survey employment is in long term decline as is the proportion of state funding.   This is increasingly challenging, as there are few grant opportunities to fund what are viewed as state service functions.

    AZGS stakeholders in industry and government are now urging restoration of ongoing base funding through a line item in the UA budget for Fiscal Year 2018, as part of efforts to preserve Survey functions and assets.

    Bio: Lee Allison was appointed State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey in 2005, which transferred to the University of Arizona in 2016.  Previously, he served as State Geologist in Utah and Kansas.  He was Policy Advisor for Science and Energy to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas. He has extensive experience in petroleum exploration and development. He holds BA, MS, and PhD degrees in geology and has extensive experience for natural resource exploration and development.  Lee is the host of the online video magazine, “Arizona Mining Review.”    He is a global leader in cyber-infrastructure for the geosciences including coordinating the 15-nation Belmont Forum e-Infrastructure and Data Management initiative.

    • 06 Sep 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by:  Available

    No Bonanza from Cheap Oil

    Keith R. Long, U. S. Geological Survey

    Abstract: During the second half of 2014, oil prices fell by half after hovering around $105 per barrel for four years.  Historically, an oil price decline of 30 percent or more would add 0.5 percent to world economic growth in the medium-term, with greater growth in oil-importing countries.  It may be too soon to tell if history will repeat itself globally, but the United States cannot expect much benefit.  We are no longer an oil-importing nation.  The estimated $70 billion drop in oil industry investment since the oil price collapse has largely offset the estimated $120 billion in savings to consumers and corporations.  Cost savings for corporations are apparently insufficient to overcome larger macroeconomic and policy trends that have suppressed investment to the point that overall labor productivity is decreasing.  Consumers seem not to believe that low oil prices will last and remain skittish post-recession.  Hence, they are more likely to reduce debt or increase savings than spend.  Lower oil prices would normally reduce inflationary pressures, allowing the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates and further boost economic growth.  This is not possible with interest rates at near zero levels.  Increased global economic growth coupled with lower input costs (oil as energy and as a feedstock) ought to increase exports for a number of domestic industries, such as petrochemicals.  Global economic growth, however, is weakening and a 10 percent rise in the value of the dollar, due largely to the oil price collapse, offsets cost reductions from cheaper oil.  Low oil prices are likely to persist.  U.S. shale oil production has proven remarkably robust as operators find economies that were ignored during the recent boom.  Application of similar oil production technologies to old world-class fields in the Permian Basin and elsewhere is adding to domestic production.  Eventually, consumers and corporations should realize this and modest increases in growth may ensue.  However, in an economy with declining labor productivity, record-low labor participation rates, double-digit increases in health care and education costs, regulatory uncertainty, and a host of other macroeconomic problems, a consumer and corporate-investment led economic boom is unlikely.

    Bio: Keith Long studied geology at the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Michigan before earning a Doctorate in Mineral Economics from the University of Arizona.  He joined the Mineral Resource Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1988 to conduct mineral resource investigations in South America, principally in Bolivia.  He turned to domestic duties in 1995, developing mineral deposit and mining cost models, and investigated the history of mining and milling operations in the Coeur d’Alene mining region, for which Keith received the John M. Townsley Award from the Mining History Association in 2002.  In 2009, he published a re-estimation of Taylor’s Rule relating mineral reserves to mine capacity in Natural Resources Research, a journal he edited from 2010 to 2012.  In 2010, he was lead author of Principal Deposits of Rare Earth Elements in the United States. His current research areas are critical minerals issues, life cycle assessment methodology, and integrated resource assessments.

    • 04 Oct 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712

    Sponsored by:  Montgomery and Associates

    The Resolution Copper Deposit, Superior Arizona:  Progress in Understanding the Geology, Ore Genesis and Mine Development

    by Hamish Martin

    • 22 Oct 2016
    • 8:00 AM
    • 24 Oct 2016
    • 6:00 PM
    • Southeastern Arizona

    The Peach Spring Tuff, its source, the Silver Creek caldera, and structural geology across the Transition Zone, Basin and Range boundary from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California

    Leader - Charles Ferguson, AZGS

    Dates/Time:  Saturday, October 22 through Sunday, October 23, 2016, (Optional Monday October 24th)

    Tour Description:  The Fall 2016 field trip will examine the Peach Spring Tuff, its source, the Silver Creek Caldera and structural geology across the Transitional Zone, Basin and Range boundary from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California.

    The trip will begin at Kingman, where the outflow facies of the Peach Spring Tuff are exposed.  It will then head over to the Oatman mining district in the Black Mountains, where the rocks, structure and mineralization within and around the Silver Creek Caldera will be examined.  A third optional day (24th) will focus on the detached sector of the Silver Creek Caldera, which is located in the Sacramento Mountains of eastern California. 

    More detailed information about this field trip as it becomes available.


Past events

05 Jul 2016 Don Applebee Presents Genesis of the Chilito Porphyry Copper Deposit
07 Jun 2016 Robert Hildebrand Presents Collisions, Slab Failure Magmatism and the Development of Cordilleran Batholiths
03 May 2016 Peter Modreski will present "Pegmatites: Mineralogy, Gemstones, Economic Geology, and maybe not quite the same Giant-Crystal Rocks you always thought they were"
30 Apr 2016 Spring Field Trip - An Introduction to the Pinal Schist in Southeastern Arizona
05 Apr 2016 Jordon Bright Presents Looking for an Ocean in the Desert, the Enigmatic Bouse Formation
01 Mar 2016 Peter R. Johnson Presents Tectonics and Mineral Deposits of the Arabian-Nubian Shield
02 Feb 2016 Dr. Karen Wenrich Presents The Ga-Ge Rich Apex Mine, Utah - A Tsumeb, Namibia Analogue
05 Jan 2016 Sarah Baxter Presents Calc-silicate Alteration and Ore Characterization, ASARCO Mission Complex, Pima County, Arizona
01 Dec 2015 Peter Smith Presents The Latest News from Mars
14 Nov 2015 Fall Field Trip - Northern Plomosa Mountains and Bouse Formation in Blythe Basin
03 Nov 2015 Karen Kelley presents The Giant Concealed Pebble Cu-Au-Mo Porphyry Deposit, Southwest Alaska
06 Oct 2015 Caleb King presents Eocene Hydrothermal Systems and Contrasting Hydrothermal Alteration in the Battle Mountain District, Nevada
01 Sep 2015 Carl Bowser presents The Genesis of the Kramer Borax Deposit, Rogers Lake, Mojave Desert, CA:
04 Aug 2015 Dan Lynch presents Volcanoes in the Back Yard
07 Jul 2015 Erik Melchiorre presents The Complex Geological History Recorded by Arizona Placer Deposits:
02 Jun 2015 Jan C. Rasmussen Presents - Arizona Mineralization through Geologic Time
05 May 2015 Gordon Haxel Presents - Alpine peridotite in the desert - Arizona's Laramide subduction complex
02 May 2015 Spring Field Trip - Oak Creek - Mormon Lake Graben
18 Apr 2015 Third Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event
03 Mar 2015 Apollo 17 Astronaut and Former Senator Harrison H. Schmitt presents A Geological Visit to a Valley on the Moon
03 Feb 2015 Don Yurewicz Presents Assessing Unconventional (Continuous) Hydrocarbon Resource Plays
06 Jan 2015 Arend Meijer presents: Sulfide-rich Proterozoic Mafic Rocks and Arizona Porphyry Copper Deposits - A Connection?
02 Dec 2014 Victor R. Baker: Megafloods on Earth, Mars, and Beyond
15 Nov 2014 Fall Field Trip - Debris Flows Shape the Sabino Canyon Landscape - look out below!
04 Nov 2014 Isabel F. Barton: Historical Development & Current State of Geological Research in the Central African Copperbelt
07 Oct 2014 Apollo 17 Astronaut and Former Senator Harrison H. Schmitt presents A Geological Visit to a Valley on the Moon
02 Sep 2014 Lewis Land presents Evaluation of Groundwater Residence Time in a Karstic Aquifer System
05 Aug 2014 Jamie Molaro presents Thermal Stress Weathering in the Inner Solar System
01 Jul 2014 Jim Leenhouts presents Surface-water/groundwater Interactions in Arizona
03 Jun 2014 Arend Meijer presents Pinal Schist of So. Arizona--A Paleoproterozoic Fore-Arc Complex
06 May 2014 John C. Lacy presents The Genesis of Mining Law
26 Apr 2014 Spring Field Trip - Geology of the Christmas Porphyry Copper Deposit
24 Apr 2014 Second Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event
01 Apr 2014 Eric Seedorff presents, Structural Dismemberment of a Porphyry Molybdenum System, Spruce Mountain District, Northeastern Nevada
04 Mar 2014 John Dreier presents, Copper Deposits of the Coast Ranges of Chile; A trip through time, space, and ore deposit nomenclature
04 Feb 2014 Ralph Stegen presents The Morenci Porphyry Cu-Mo Deposit, Greenlee County, Arizona: A Geologic Summary with Emphasis on Hypogene and Supergene Mineralization
07 Jan 2014 Steve Castor presents, Mountain Pass and other North American Rare Earth Element Deposits
03 Dec 2013 Stephen Jackson, USGS, Looking forward from the past: Ecological impacts of climate change through the lens of history
05 Nov 2013 Malcolm Siegel, PhD, MPH, LJS Consulting, Inc and School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. 87047: Uranium Mining in the American Southwest: Can Medical Geologists Ask the Right Questions?
04 Oct 2013 Field Trip - H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station
01 Oct 2013 Mark Logsdon, Principal Geochemist, Geochimica, Inc.: What Does “Perpetual” Management and Treatment Mean? Toward a Framework for Determining an Appropriate Period-of-Performance for Management of Reactive, Sulfide-Bearing Mine Wastes
01 Oct 2013 Mark J. Logsdon, Geochimica, Inc., Does acid-rock drainage lead to waste-rock instability? Geological, hydrological, and geochemical framework for the Questa Mine
03 Sep 2013 Pete Reiners, UA, Geosciences Dept., Geochronology of secondary Fe & Mn oxides in bedrock
30 Aug 2013 Field Trip - University of Arizona Tree-Ring Research Laboratory
06 Aug 2013 Bill Stavast, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, The Safford Mine: What we have learned since production began
02 Jul 2013 Lukas Zurcher, USGS, presents: "Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Central Tethys Region"
04 Jun 2013 Steve Van Nort presents, "Gold Fever! The BRE-X/Busang Story
07 May 2013 Federal lands and mineral resources: Colorado Plateau uranium deposits and the Sonoran Desert Heritage
18 Apr 2013 First Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Student Poster Event

AGS By Laws: "The object of the society shall be the promotion and encouragement of interest in the science of geology and in the geology of the State of Arizona."                                                                         Contact:

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