From the Editor
The lands that make up the national and state parks were set aside
because of their unique geologic characteristics. Yet few parks have geologists
on staff. The April issue of Geotimes featured ways the National
Park Service is trying to change that by using the expertise of its current
geological staff for land planning decisions, and by working with the Geological
Society of America to bring geoscience students and professionals into
the parks as interns. This month, Geotimes proposes another way
to get geologists in the parks: A Geology Roadtrip guide, giving you a
collection of a few good spots where you can see great rocks this summer.
We asked state geologists and other experts to suggest the geologically
interesting spots in their neck of the woods. We have featured a few of
the best from across the United States and Canada with a much expanded
list available on www.geotimes.org
that also includes the necessary details for finding these gems. If your
favorite spot did not make the list, please drop us a line so that we can
consider it for next summer.
Whether you’re on the road or at home, rising energy costs are likely
to get your attention. Rolling blackouts in California and steadily rising
gasoline prices have certainly commanded the attention of Congress and
the Bush administration. In our second feature, Scott Tinker and Eugene
Kim of the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology make a strong case for the
role of geoscience research in ensuring future energy supplies. The feature
includes excerpts of Tinker’s April testimony to the House Science Committee
on the Department of Energy’s budget request. Energy policy is also the
focus of a News Note by Laura Wright on an energy policy summit held by
the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for Washington policy-makers.
Another problem we face is a declining pool of geoscientists
to do the very research Tinker and Kim advise. This month’s Comment reports
on the results of a recent workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation
(NSF) to begin quantifying employment trends and human resource capital
in the geosciences. Chris Maples, Mike Baranovic and Chris Keane describe
what data the geoscience community needs to assess where our profession
is and where it is going. Such information should be invaluable for students
heading into the job market and for professors who can provide well-informed
guidance to the next generation of geoscientists.
This month’s Geoscience Education column by Don Hoskins and Jon Price
details some of the success stories from another NSF-funded project that
connects undergraduate geoscience students with mentors from state geological
surveys to learn the craft of geologic mapping.
Enjoy the road.