Less than one-third of the U.S. is mapped at the level of detail necessary to make informed planning decisions on a local scale concerning natural resources, natural hazards, infrastructure planning, and environmental stewardship. In the Great Lakes region, the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (GLGMC), a group including U.S. and Canadian state and provincial geological surveys, is producing detailed 3D geologic maps that are helping to provide decision-relevant information to Great Lakes state communities. Due to similar regional geology, these state surveys can work together, sharing their expertise and resources so that each can better address geologic issues in their area. Working with the communities, the GLGMC provides and makes maps that solve problems such as groundwater contamination and resource development.
Groundwater is often a "transboundary" resource, shared by many groups of people across town, county, state, and international boundaries. Changes in groundwater resources can create unique challenges requiring high levels of cooperation and innovation amongst stakeholder groups, from individuals to state and federal government.
The High Plains Aquifer (HPA), which spans eight states from South Dakota to Texas, is overlain by about 20 percent of the nation’s irrigated agricultural land, and provides about 30 percent of the groundwater used for irrigation in the country according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Work by the Kansas Geological Survey indicates that some parts of the aquifer are already effectively exhausted for agricultural purposes; some parts are estimated to have a lifespan of less than 25 years; and other areas remain generally unaffected (Buchanan et al., 2015).
The 2016 Critical Issues Forum was a 1-½ day meeting covering multiple aspects of groundwater depletion in the High Plains. Presentations covered the current state of the High Plains Aquifer and water usage from scientific, legal, regulatory, economic, and social perspectives. State-specific perspectives were provided from Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma, and a variety of issues were discussed surrounding communication, negotiation, policy, and the influence of climate change. Break-out sessions and participant discussions identified lessons learned and best practices from the High Plains Aquifer experience that might apply to other regions facing changes in the Earth system.
An upcoming webinar will tackle an important application of environmental geoscience: monitoring harmful chemicals that contaminate soil and groundwater. This webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, is presented as part of the growing Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI), a collaborative program between the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG).
Geoscience information is integral to the strength and growth of communities and provides the resources for economic growth. All building materials, energy resources, construction projects, and hazard mitigation efforts are fundamentally based on geoscientific data and the geoscience workforce.
The industrial materials and minerals used to construct buildings/infrastructure
The importance of readily available construction materials and the resulting demand for mines and quarries throughout the U.S.
How geoscience is used to determine whether or not sites are suitable for infrastructure development
How geoscience is used to help guide design and construction to enhance the quality of life, economic strength, and physical security of coastal areas
Webinar Co-sponsors: American Association of Petroleum Geologists; American Geophysical Union; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Geological Society of America; National Ground Water Association; National Science Foundation; Soil Science Society of America
Register now for this upcoming Critical Issues Webinar! July 6, 2017 at 1:30pm EDT. 90 minutes.
This special 1.5 hour-long AGI Critical Issues webinar will focus on efforts to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to coastal storms, erosion, and associated hazards at the federal, state, and local level. Speakers from California, Texas, and Georgia will discuss the impacts of coastal storms and erosion, tools used for coastal hazard mitigation planning in their regions, and examples of community engagement and coordination. Learn more at http://bit.ly/coastal-hazards-webinar.
Coastal hazards are a widespread challenge that cost millions (and sometimes billions) of dollars in the U.S. every year due to property loss and spending on mitigation measures. Based on the most recent U.S. Census, over 39% of the U.S. population lives in areas that may undergo significant coastal flooding during a 100-year flood event1. Additionally, six of the ten most expensive weather-related disasters in U.S. history have been caused by coastal storms1,2. Reducing risk and responding to coastal hazards is an ongoing challenge that relies on close coordination and cooperation between geoscientists, coastal planners, emergency managers, and communities at all levels.
An introductory talk and three case studies from around the U.S. cover coastal storm and erosion hazards in the U.S., as well as examples of coastal hazard planning from the Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic coasts, with a focus on how geoscience informs planning at all levels. Speakers from California, Texas, and Georgia discuss the impacts of coastal storms and erosion, tools used for coastal hazard mitigation planning in their regions, and examples of community engagement and coordination.
Webinar Co-Sponsors: American Institute of Professional Geologists; American Meteorological Society; Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society; Federal Emergency Management Agency; Geological Society of America; Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers; International Association of Emergency Managers; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. Geological Survey.
Our Coast, Our Future Project website: sea level rise and storm scenarios for north-central California coast, San Francisco Bay, and Southern California, including an interactive viewer that shows socioeconomic impacts, flooding, and waves and currents.