Critical Issues Monthly Roundup: October 2017

A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA

Welcome to November! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program:

  • Last week was the Geological Society of America’s 2017 Annual Meeting, which took place in Seattle, WA. Our manager Cassy Rose presented a poster at the meeting about recent successes in our webinar series, which have averaged over 800 registrants and 500 live attendees in 2017, and the broader impacts of webinars for diverse audiences. Cassy also co-chaired a GSA Pardee Keynote Symposium called “Earth Anatomy Revealed: Geologic Mapping for Our Future”, in partnership with AGI’s Geoscience Policy Program, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Association of American State Geologists (AASG). The Symposium featured sixteen invited speakers, including AGI’s Executive Director Allyson Anderson Book and leadership from the USGS, AASG, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists. Speakers addressed key questions on the role of geoscience and geologic mapping in responding to the needs of society, how new perspectives and technology are changing geologic mapping, and how the geosciences and geologic mapping will be organized in the future to provide the greatest benefits to society. The Symposium was well-attended and lively, and we would like to thank our partners at the USGS and AASG for working with us to organize this great event!
  • Looking for a (paid) spring internship? We’re still accepting applications for a 14-week internship in the Geoscience Policy Program, but hurry – the application deadline is midnight tonight! You can find more details and application instructions here.
  • Did you know that groundwater provides 25% of the fresh water used in the United States? Over 13 million U.S. households depend on private wells for drinking water supplies, and groundwater is critically important for much of the country’s irrigated agriculture. Our new subtopic and basics pages on groundwater provide an overview of the issues and plenty of extra resources if you want to learn more.
  • Over the last 10 years, U.S. oil production has almost doubled, but how has that affected oil imports and exports? We have revised our FAQ on this topic to give you a rundown of the issues, including the extent to which the United States relies on imported oil, the volumes being traded, and the major countries exporting oil to, and importing oil from, the United States. We’ll be updating this page every 6 months to keep you up to date on recent developments.
  • This month’s additions to our Maps & Visualizations database include interactive maps of abandoned mines in North Dakota, underground mines in Minnesota, real-time flood information in Texas, and bioenergy potential across the contiguous United States.
  • For more updates and information from the Critical Issues Program, including details of upcoming events, follow us on Twitter @AGI_GeoIssues or subscribe to our mailing lists.