2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM


CARLSON, Marvin P., Nebraska Geological Survey, Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln, 102 NH, Lincoln, NE 68588-0517, mcarlson1@unl.edu

Societal needs for resources in the 21st century will be based initially on economics, environment and ease of assessment. However, fundamental to these objectives is an understanding of the resource base and how it should be conserved, conserved in the sense of wise utilization. Geoscientists, by training, are intimately familiar with the “Animal-Vegetable-Mineral” components that make up our natural resource system. As scientists, they must seek the common ground – common in both the sense of consensus and in an acceptance that much of our resource system will be common ground that is often controlled by regulation and litigation. Concepts of multiple use, reserve establishment and even non-use must be part of evolving policies not just issue decisions.

State (and Federal) Geological Surveys have long had the major role in defining the natural resource system. However, there are major concerns in the patterns of support for programs of “Survey” - data collection, interpretation, translation, and communication. The perception that sufficient data is available to “run the models” and/or to “support the litigation” is not realistic. Continuing efforts, lead by geoscientists active on common ground, will be required to maintain visibility and support for “Survey” activity. Only then will the factual basis be available for appropriate decisions that allow an effective approach to conservation and sustainability.

Geoscientists must become more visible. Participate; particularly in arenas where attitudes differ from your own. Advocate; know the issues both the real and perceived. Cooperate; utilize your expertise to improve the current attitudes and opinions. Anticipate; the issues, policies, conflicts that will impact the utilization of our resources. Educate; define our natural resource systems and their possible reaction to development. Negotiate; so that the real winners are the resources. Innovate; find solutions that others might have overlooked as acceptable actions. Stimulate; your fellow geoscientists to participate in the policy area of their choice. Communicate; encourage support for effective collection of natural resource data. And, most importantly, Promote and Support those agencies and activities that develop the data and knowledge base for geoscientists.