THE ROLE OF STATE SURVEYS IN PROMOTING GEOSCIENCE AND GEOHERITAGE: EXAMPLES FROM NEW MEXICO
State geological surveys play a vital role in translating geological origins of features into terms that non-scientists can understand, through a variety of means. Traditionally, state surveys relied on educating the public through printed matter, and preparation of scientifically accurate information for visitors to public lands. Now, however, electronic content, distributed though web sites and social media, add a reach that was previously unavailable, and is being used effectively by many state surveys. In New Mexico, in addition to a significant and growing electronic presence, printed material supporting geological education, including books about geology of public lands, and scenic geo-focused tours, are geared towards residents and visitors alike. And, given the abundant, high-quality, geological descriptions and illustrations available in our print publications, development of mobile-phone based outreach is one of our goals. Growing awareness within our organization of the power of the “Geoheritage” approach to geological education has provided us with a pathway to increasing awareness of, and ability to promote, the links between geology and human history, and we look forward to increasing our reach and relevance through this new direction.