2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 61-5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


BLAUVELT, Robert P., GEI Consultants, 1 Greenwood Ave, Suite 210, Montclair, NJ 07042, rblauvelt@geiconsultants.com

States routinely license highly qualified and knowledgeable professionals to provide needed services that directly affect public health and safety (e.g., doctors, lawyers, and engineers). These experts generally operate within strict codes of conduct and have self-policing member organizations that work cooperatively with state sanctioned boards to ensure a high level of integrity and culpability within their practice areas. The expertize of these licensed individuals (And the organizations that represent them) is relied on by governmental agencies in matters affecting policy development and third party rights, such as second-hand smoke, criminal sentencing guidelines, and the potential effects of fracing on water quality.

Thirty-one states currently license geologists with another four states in the process of either considering, developing, or actively implementing licensure programs. In addition, 10 states have professional license requirements in effect for specific areas involving geology and earth science. The implications of geologic licensure on academics, consultants, those in public service, and students entering the profession are significant. They range from restrictions on professional practice, continuing education requirements, interactions with colleagues, and increased personal liability. The dynamics of this developing paradigm presage several desirable trends in professional practice including enhanced standing with the public, greater professional accountability, and increased financial rewards.