GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 96-1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM


CASADEVALL, Thomas, U.S. Geoheritage and Geoparks Advisory Group, Denver Federal Center, P.O. Box 25046 MS-964, Denver, CO 80225, COOK, Terri L., Down to Earth Science, 1520 Wildwood Lane, Boulder, CO 80305, CONNORS, Timothy, Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, PO Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225 and DUNBAR, Nelia, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences' National Committee on Geological Sciences (USNC/GS) represents the United States in the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and provides direction and advice on geological science issues of national importance. In 2016, the USNC/GS established the U.S. Geoheritage and Geoparks Advisory Group to facilitate communication about geoheritage issues at local, state, national, and international levels. (

Key goals of the advisory group include working with aspiring communities interested in developing their geological heritage; hosting an invitational U.S. geoheritage workshop in 2020; and collaborating with partners, including the Geological Society of America, the Association of American State Geologists, and the American Geosciences Institute, to develop programs that highlight individual states’ geological diversity. Goals of these partnerships include:

  • Develop common terminology to describe geological heritage features and landscapes.
  • Inventory sites and landmarks of geological significance (a geosite inventory).
  • Assist communities in organizing their geoheritage into guides, trails, parks, etc.
  • Link to other state agencies (tourism, education, parks) to promote the benefits of celebrating a state’s geological heritage.

A review of state geological survey websites shows a wide variety in presentation and organization, but most have sections that include education, publications, mapping, geohazards, and mineral/energy/water resources. There is also a wide variety of educational information available on the state survey websites. Most present formal geo-education curricular information geared towards K-12 (“Educator Resources”) as well as basic scientific information geared towards the general public. Most geological survey websites also feature in-depth information about that state’s distinctive natural features and geological highlights. These presentations vary widely in style, level of detail, and organization. Some notable examples include: Utah - the Calendar of Utah Geology; the Texas GeoSign Project; the New Mexico: Virtual Geologic Tour; the Pennsylvania: 30 Outstanding Geologic Features (ranked & geographically organized); and the Indiana publication: ABCs of Indiana Geology