RFG 2018 Conference


U.S. Geoscience Enrollments Sag, Bachelor and Doctoral Degrees Rise in 2016

Currents #: 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Enrollments in U.S. geoscience programs remained robust during the 2015-2016 academic year.  Undergraduate enrollments slipped about 5% but remains near record levels, while graduate enrollments dipped slightly.  The slip in undergraduate enrollments may reflect a perceived softness in geoscience employment. Graduate enrollments also dropped a little, mostly at the master’s-intended level, which is also most likely linked to job market concerns. In general, geoscience programs around the U.S.

Statement on the U.S. Executive Order

The Geological Society, along with many other national and international scientific organisations, is concerned by the Executive Order, announced on 27 January 2017, which will prevent people from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the United States, if it is allowed to stand.

From the perspective of an international organisation with members living and working around the world in what is a truly global scientific discipline, such a ban would have the potential to hinder a number of activities that are critical to our science. Furthermore, as an organisation we are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in the geoscience profession, irrespective of nationality, and the Executive Order conflicts with our stated aims in this area. Read more in this position statement.

Business Development for Consulting Groundwater Professionals

All successful consulting groundwater professionals engage in business development. It usually means bringing in business, but it can also mean staying billable. In most cases it means a combination of both. Bringing in business requires selling services to prospective clients. Staying billable requires developing and maintaining good relations with those who do bring in the business. Most professional groundwater consulting firms follow a seller-doer model, requiring a balancing of bringing in business and doing billable work. Obviously, no one can be billable unless someone is bringing in business. Bringing in business has always been essential to the survival of any groundwater consulting firm, but doing so has become more difficult in the current recessionary environment. The focus of this paper is on the new skills required for a new economy. It is based on the results of an e-mail survey of more than 190 consulting groundwater professionals, telephone interviews with members of six groundwater consulting firms, a review of relevant literature, and our experience as management consultants working with design engineering firms that provide groundwater consulting services.

The Importance of Dual Credit and Concurrent Enrollment to the Geosciences

Joint Position Statement from NAGT and the National Earth Science Teachers Association.

Offering rigorous college-level Earth science courses to highly qualified high school students addresses critical needs in both geoscience education and future workforce needs. Members of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) and National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) advise that it is time to establish new, strong collaborations between high schools and postsecondary institutions around dual credit (courses taught at a high school by qualified high school teachers) and concurrent enrollment (courses taught at two year / four year post-secondary institutions by higher education faculty) Earth science courses. These courses will attract high performing students to fill the geoscience career pipeline, meet the rigors and spirit of the Next Generation Science Standards, continue to build strong postsecondary education geoscience departments, expand the diversity of the geoscience community, and increase the number of geoscience literate citizens who will be making informed decisions about Earth science issues in the future.

New Directions in Rock Mechanics: A Forum Sponsored by the American Rock Mechanics Association

The American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) and the ARMA Foundation sponsored a forum on New Directions for U. S. Rock Mechanics, held at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, October 18-20, 1998. The goal of the Forum was to focus on 1) a strategic vision for the future of rock mechanics in the United States, 2) the identification and delineation of critical issues facing the rock mechanics community, 3) the role of research in addressing these issues, and 4) critical areas of research in each of the topic areas addressed at the forum including examples of specific research initiatives.

Education in Underground Science and Engineering in the United States: A Report from a Workshop

The profession and status of rock mechanics is at a point of transition, and those engaged in it and related disciplines need be to be prepared to meet the challenge of new opportunities. A critical element in this transition will be changes in rock mechanics education. This transition was the underlying premise in convening a workshop on rock mechanics education. Thirty-two academic and industry practitioners assembled in San Francisco in June 2008 to discuss the current status of the profession, to examine the education process and institutional support for the profession, and to determine what changes mean to the rock mechanics community. The report that follows documents those discussions, records the finding and conclusions, and summarizes the recommendations that resulted from the discussions.

U.S. Energy and Employment Report, 2017

The 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) finds that the Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors today employ approximately 6.4 million Americans. These sectors increased in 2016 by just under 5 percent, adding over 300,000 net new jobs, roughly 14% of all those created in the country. The 2017 USEER analyzes four sectors of the U.S. economy. The first two of those sectors make up the Traditional Energy sector: Electric Power Generation and Fuels; Transmission, Distribution and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and Motor Vehicles.

U.S. Energy and Employment Report, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) first annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) provides a quantitative lens with which to evaluate the employment impact of new energy technologies, shifting fuels deployment, and evolving transmission and distribution systems during a period of rapid change. It also presents a unique snapshot of energy efficiency employment in key sectors of the economy, including construction and manufacturing. Finally, the report illustrates how fuel efficiency and new technologies and materials affect employment in the motor vehicle industry.

Best Practices in Mineral Resource Estimation & Reporting

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Construction of a computerized model to estimate mineral resources is a common practice in mineral exploration projects and mining operations. Many times a technical report is the done as per international reporting standards such as NI-43-101 or JORC to meet requirement of certain stock exchanges in the world. In all these standards there are certain minimum suggested requirements that have to be met for reporting mineral resources and reserves. The standards are not and cannot be prescriptive. However, irrespective of standards of reporting it is important that the mineral resource estimation be done following ‘the best practices’ in this area. This is to ensure that the resource estimation is reliable and based on valid parameters.


Dr. Abani R Samal holds a doctorate from SIU Carbondale, DIC & MS from Imperial College, London and M Tech (Mineral Exploration) degree from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, India. He has been in the mining industry since 1996. Immediately prior to his current position, he was a Principal advisor for Rio Tinto - a major mining company, based at their Salt Lake City Regional HQ. Currently he the owner and Principal of GeoGlobal, LLC. He is providing advisory services to mining companies. He is also an adjunct associate professor at University of Utah and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhubaneswar, India. Mineral deposit evaluation, resource estimation & reporting, reconciliation of mine operations and applied geostatistics are Dr. Samal's technical specializations.

Abani R Samal, is a Certified Professional geologist (CPG) of AIPG, Registered Member of SME and a Fellow of Society of Economic Geology (SEG). He has been active in strategic committees of SME, Past Chair of the industrial minerals and aggregates division and an active contributing member of the committee that published the 2014 SME Guide for Reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources, and Mineral Reserves. Dr. Samal is a very active member of other professional organizations including GSA, Geological Society of India (Fellow), IAMG (life member). Recently he was appointed as an honorary representative of CRIRSCO in India.

CEU Credits

All registrants who attend the entire duration of this webinar will receive 0.1 CEUs from the American Institiute of Professional Geologists.

Fundamentals of Professional Ethics: Elements and Examples

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


David M. Abbott, Jr.
AIPG Certified Professional Geologist 4570

This short course is offered by David M. Abbott, Jr. Mr. Abbott’s first paper on professional geoscience ethics was published in 1989. Since then, he has presented many papers and talks on the subject. Beginning in November 1995, Mr. Abbott began compiling a column, “Professional Ethics & Practices,” for the AIPG’s magazine, The Professional Geologist, and the column has appeared in each issue since. Mr. Abbott serves as the Chairman of AIPG’s Ethics Committee, which is responsible for inquiring into allegations of ethical misconduct by AIPG members and, when appropriate, prosecuting cases charging violations of AIPG’s Code of Ethics. Mr. Abbott is also a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s Ethics Committee.

Mr. Abbott holds an AB in Earth Science from Dartmouth College and an MS in geology from the Colorado School of Mines. He spent 21 years as a geologist for the US Securities and Exchange Commission in Denver assisting natural resources entities to comply with the SEC’s disclosure requirements and investigating and assisting in the prosecution of mining and oil and gas frauds. Since 1996 he has been an independent consultant specializing in natural resource disclosure issues, resource and reserve classifications and their application to specific deposits, and professional geoscience ethics. He is a Certified Professional Geologist by AIPG, is a Chartered Geologist by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Geological Society of London, holds the European Geologist title, and is licensed as a Professional Geologist by Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.


Each registrant who participates in the entire webinar will be awarded 0.1 CEUs from the American Institute of Professional Geologists.



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