The Utah Geological Survey seeks to assist the public and professionals in finding information necessary to make informed decisions about geology. Our administration staff are the main contact to the different programs and qualified personnel in the UGS. They are necessary in interacting with the public, coordinating events, and making the UGS run smoothly behind the scenes.

Utah Geological Survey Board

Board Members

  • Elissa Richards – Chair, representing the Public at Large
  • Ken Fleck – Vice Chair, representing Minerals (Coal)
  • Riley Brinkerhoff – representing Minerals (Hydrocarbons)
  • Rick Chesnut – representing Engineering Geology
  • Dave Garbrecht – representing Minerals (Metals)
  • Becky Hammond – representing Scientific Interests
  • Sam Quigley – representing Minerals (Industrial)
  • David Ure – SITLA, ex officio member

Administration Staff

UGS Director | State Geologist

Bill Keach

Phone: (801) 537-3301
Email: billkeach@utah.gov

Bill is a scientist, educator, and expert in technology with over 30 years of experience in industry, academia, and regulatory state government. After earning a B.S. degree in Geology from Brigham Young University and an M.S. degree in Geophysics from Cornell, Bill spent over five years in offshore hydrocarbon exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and with SOHIO/BP in California. He then joined Landmark Graphics (now Halliburton) where he spent 17 years traveling the world developing 3D visualization technology and adoption. He returned to Utah in 2006 taking roles at both the Energy and Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University doing research and teaching courses on seismic interpretation and reservoir modeling. One of his favorite roles in academia has been the opportunity to develop and lead field courses taking students and professionals from around the world throughout Utah to see and learn its many wonders. In 2017 he accepted a role with California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to evaluate reservoirs and bring technology into the division. The latter goal was recently realized with the introduction (first ever) of computer interpretation tools. Another goal was bringing in UAS (drone) technology and developing protocols for regulatory inspections. While in California he has continued his adjunct appointments with the University of Utah and Brigham Young University to satisfy his passion for teaching.

Deputy Director

Mike Hylland

Phone: (801) 537-3382
Email: mikehylland@utah.gov
CV: download PDF

Mike received a B.S. in geology from Western Washington University and an M.S. in geology from Oregon State University. Prior to joining the UGS in 1994, he conducted a regional tectono-stratigraphic study in the Himalayan foothills of northern Pakistan and led engineering-geologic studies in the Pacific Northwest. Mike has served in a variety of roles at the UGS, including geologist in the Geologic Hazards and Geologic Mapping Programs, Technical Reviewer, Geologic Information & Outreach Program Manager, and since 2016 Deputy Director. His research focus at the UGS has been on active faulting and neotectonics, and he has been principal or co-principal investigator on numerous paleoseismic fault trenching investigations in Utah. Mike has also taught geology courses for Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah Lifelong Learning.

Financial Manager

Jodi Thacker

Phone: (801) 537-3310
Email: jodithacker@utah.gov

Jodi has been the Financial Manager for the UGS since October 2013. She has worked for various agencies within the State of Utah since 1993, responsible for budgeting, accounting, and grant management. Jodi has a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Weber State University and Bachelors of Finance from the University of Utah. She is also passionate about personal financial literacy. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, cycling, and travel.

Financial Analyst

Winnie Pan

Phone: (801) 537-3303

Winnie Pan is a Financial Analyst with the Utah Geological Survey and moved to the UGS from another state agency in 2022. She manages the division accounts payable/receivable and other accounting-related duties. Winnie earned a B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Utah. She likes hiking and fossils.

Geologic Manager, Legislative Liaison

Mark Milligan

Phone: (801) 537-3326
Email: markmilligan@utah.gov

Mark R. Milligan is a Geologic Manager with the Geologic Information and Outreach Program and has worked with the UGS since 1997. Current job duties include: serving as the legislative liaison, preparing geologic brochures and booklets for the public, responding to public inquiries, writing articles for the UGS’s Survey Notes, creating geologic signage for public display, responding to press inquiries, speaking to public groups, and organizing and leading geologic field trips. Prior employment included managing the State of North Carolina’s Underground Injection Control Program and working as a technician for an environmental consulting firm in Southern California. Mark earned a B.S. with honors in geology from California State University, Fullerton, and a M.S. in geology from the University of Utah. He has been a licensed Professional Geologist since 1996. Mark has authored or coauthored over 40 technical and non-technical articles on a wide variety of geologic topics published by entities ranging from the UGS, to the Society for Sedimentary Geology, to the L.A. Times. He twice received the UGS’s Crawford Award in recognition of work on outstanding geologic publications.

Executive Secretary

Starr Soliz

Phone: (801) 537-3300
Email: starrsoliz@utah.gov

Starr Soliz has been the enthusiastic face and voice on the front line at the UGS for over a decade. She enjoys good humor, so the next time you stop by or make a phone call, be sure to drop your latest joke on her!

Executive Secretary

Cheryl Wing

Phone: (801) 537-3360
Email: cherylwing@utah.gov

Cheryl Wing has been employed with the UGS for 20 years. She is a Utah-local, born and raised in West Valley City. She enjoys spending time with her family camping, fishing, hunting, and riding ATVs.