2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 32
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Afghanistan Training Course in Earth Science and Resource Assessments

MOONEY, Walter, USGS, 345 MIddlefield Rd, MS 977, Menlo Park, CA 94025, BOHANNON, Robert G., U.S. Geological Survey, MS-980, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 and MEDLIN, Jack, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 917, Reston, VA 20192, mooney@usgs.gov

Natural resources are a key component of the economic and social well being of a country. For more than 2,000 years, Afghanistan has been famous for its precious gemstones. In addition, the country has world-class iron and copper deposits, abundant coal, oil and gas, and outstanding water resources. For these reasons, Afghanistan's rich natural resources have long been the envy of countries worldwide. However, more than 25 years of conflict has largely destroyed organizations such as the Geological Survey, which was responsible for identifying and developing Afghanistan's natural resources. This has compromised the national government's capacity to function for the public good, and to contribute to the economic growth of the country. In addition, scientific facilities, laboratories, equipment and logistical support have largely disappeared. Despite the return of many employees to the Ministry of Mines and Industry (after many years of absence), this organization faces great challenges due to a lack of adequate facilities and funding. Moreover, many of the employees have missed the recent developments within their scientific and technical disciplines. For all practical purposes, Afghanistan is starting all over again in the development of its rich natural resources.

Our training course on “Modern Concepts in Earth Science and Resource Assessments” aims to provide the staff of the Afghan Geological Survey with a broad overview of current geologic concepts and practices in natural resource assessment. The learning format of the course was through a series of lectures presented in English with simultaneous translation into Dari. All lectures were provided in electronic form on a CD included with the course handbook. The handbook contained color print copies of all the lectures with space for note-taking. We believe that the material presented in these lectures will assist the Afghan Geological Survey in identifying and developing their natural resources for the future.