Utah Geological Survey


Utah Geological Survey

The Utah Geological Survey is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. It also has an office in Cedar City, Utah.

It is a division of the Utah Department of Natural Resources and is an applied scientific agency, which creates, interprets, and provides information about Utah's geological environment, resources and hazards, in order to promote safe, beneficial and wise land usage.

Its departments and programmes are: Editorial Services, Geologic Hazards Program, Energy & Minerals Program, Geologic Information and Outreach Program, Geologic Mapping Program, Ground Water and Paleontology Program and a State Energy Program (SEP).

UGS Time Line of Events

1919 University of Utah Board of Regents establishes the forbearer of the UGS, the “UniversityGeological and Resource Survey of Utah,” under the direction of Dr. FrederickJ. Pack. No funding is provided.

1929 Bill introduced to state legislature to formally create the “Utah Geological and MineralogicalSurvey.” The bill fails.

1931 Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey (UGMS) created by the Utah State Legislature.Governor appoints an advisory board, but no funding is appropriated forsalaries or operations and no personnel are assigned to the Survey.

1941 The UGMS and various other state agencies, including the Utah State Parks Commission,are placed in the newly created “Utah State Department of Publicity andIndustrial Development” (UPID). The UPID hires geologist A.M. Buranek. Overthe next few years, Buranek and other contract personnel publish 36 geologic publicationssponsored by the UPID.

1946 Arthur L. Crawford appointed by Governor Maw as commissioner of the UPID.Governor Maw urges Crawford to activate the UGMS. Crawford re-hires Buranekand adds geologists M.M. Bell and Dr. George Hanson of Brigham Young University,but work continues under the auspices of the UPID.

1949 Birth of the “modern” UGMS. UPID disbanded by the state. UGMS transferred tothe State School of Mines and Mineral Industries at the University of Utah. Crawfordappointed first Director of the UGMS and Legislature appropriates $25,000 for1949-1951 biennial budget.

1951 UGMS Sample Library established in cooperation with geology departments of thestate’s universities, the Utah Geological Society, and the Intermountain Associationof Petroleum Geologists. Support provided by grants from the University of Utahresearch fund.

1961 Crawford retires, UGMS advisory board names Dr. William P. Hewitt director.Focus shifts from general research to economic geology studies.1961-65 UGMS and University of Utah College of Mines and Mineral Industries jointly publishthe four-part, 1:250,000-scale geologic map of Utah.1963 Utah Governor Clyde appropriates a part of the state’s mineral-lease revenues tothe UGMS.

1964 The first issue of the quarterly publication Quarterly Review (renamed SurveyNotes in 1976) is published, containing information pertaining to Utah’s geologyand mineral industry.

1966 The Survey creates the Economic Geology Program under the direction of Dr. HellmutDoelling.

1970 UGMS receives its first outside grant to study Utah coal deposits under the directionof Dr. Hellmut Doelling.

1973 Legislature transfers UGMS from the University of Utah to the Utah Department ofNatural Resources; name shortened to “Utah Geological and Mineral Survey” (previously“Mineralogical”). UGMS Advisory Board replaced by a seven-memberBoard appointed by the Governor. Legislature officially names the Survey Directoras State Geologist.

1974 Hewitt retires and is succeeded by industry mining geologist Donald T. McMillan.

1976 UGMS moves its headquarters from the University of Utah main campus to ResearchPark.

1977 The Legislature charges the Survey with responsibility for assessing earthquakerisks throughout the state.

1981 Survey staff grows to 20 full-time and nine part-time geologists and 10 supportstaff. McMillan retires; Genevieve Atwood, the Survey’s and the nation’s firstwoman State Geologist, is appointed Director. Focus shifts to geologic mappingand geologic hazards.

1983 Establishment of the Geologic Mapping Program.

1984 Addition of the Geologic Mapping and Applied Geology Programs in recent yearsaids the Survey’s growth to 26 full-time geologists, 10 geotechnicians, and 17 supportstaff.

1985 The Wasatch Front County Hazards Geologist Program is initiated with fundingfrom the USGS National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Threegeologists are placed in five counties, Weber-Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah-Juab, to aidlocal governments in reducing geologic hazards.

1987 UGMS initiates the Mineral Lease Special Projects program using mineral-leasemoney to engage outside expertise to pursue specific geologic information in areasof the state not investigated by UGMS staff.

1989 Genevieve Atwood steps down, Dr. M. Lee Allison named UGMS Director. Focusshifts to economic geology (petroleum) and information dissemination.

1991 UGMS shortens name to “Utah Geological Survey” (UGS), moves its headquartersto Foothill Drive.1992 Dr. Lehi F. Hintze is awarded the 1992 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.

1993 Dr. Hellmut H. Doelling is awarded the 1993 Governor’s Medal for Science andTechnology.

1994 Water Section established in Applied Geology Program.

1995 Four staff, including the State Paleontologist, of the Antiquities Section (Paleontology/Paleoecology) of the Utah Division of State History are transferred to the UGS.Paleontology Certification Program receives one-time funding from Legislature.The Geologic Extension Service is created.

1996 UGS moves to new Department of Natural Resources complex. UGS opens its firstregional office on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City in responseto southwestern Utah’s population and construction boom. UGS Sample LibraryTrust Fund established. Environmental Sciences Program created, combiningWater Section in Applied Geology and Paleontology and Paleoecology.

1997 UGS given the Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) 1997 Award in Excellencein the category of Outreach to the General Public for its strategy of increasingearthquake awareness in Utah.

1998 Dr. David B. Madsen, internationally recognized authority on the archeology andpaleoecology of Utah and the western United States, is awarded the 1998 Governor’sMedal for Science and Technology. A new 14,000-square foot sample libraryis constructed at the Department of Natural Resources complex.

1999 Full- and part-time UGS staff includes 37 geologists, 10 geotechnicians, and 20 supportstaff.


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