A leading source of information on earthquake safety, the Utah Seismic Safety Commission (USSC) is celebrating 25 years of outreach to reduce Utah’s earthquake hazards and manage earthquake risk. The USSC promotes legislation, education, and awareness in order to save lives, prevent injuries, protect property, and reduce social and economic disruption from the effects of severe seismic activity in Utah.

Please join us for an open house as we review the successes of the past 25 years and take a look at the future of the USSC.

Open House: Thursday, July 11, 2019

11:00 am-1:00 pm at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda: 350 N State SLC, UT.

USSC 25th Anniversary Flyer | Capitol Hill Complex Map

State Geologist and Director Rick Allis retired in January after 18 years of service with the UGS. Prior to joining the UGS, Rick was in senior management at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in New Zealand, originally known as the New Zealand Geological Survey, and then was a research professor with the Energy and Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah for almost three years. While at the UGS, his steady leadership and strategic vision helped the agency meet a number of challenges over the past two decades. Rick’s emphasis on making all UGS publications available for free on the UGS website, as well as providing geologic information interactively through web applications, led to the creation of the Web Services Section. Anticipating the continuing need for understanding the interactions between geology and water resources, Rick encouraged and supported expansion of groundwater characterization studies and creation of the UGS Wetlands Section. A strong proponent of renewable energy, Rick played a key role in helping Utah be selected as the national Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory. After Mineral Lease revenues to the UGS plummeted following the crash in oil and gas prices that began in late 2014, Rick’s convincing arguments to the Utah Legislature’s Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee concerning the value of the UGS to Utah’s citizens resulted in the 2016 Legislature approving a $1 million ongoing increase in General Funds to the UGS, substantially stabilizing the agency’s budget. As the UGS’s longest-serving director, Rick has left an indelible mark on the Utah Geological Survey, and the agency and the citizens of Utah are the better off for it. Thank you, Rick, and we wish you well in your retirement!

Bill Keach has accepted the position as State Geologist and Director and will join the UGS in mid-January. 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. We welcome Bill and look forward to working with him at the UGS.

Congratulations to Michael Vanden Berg who was named the 2018 UGS Employee of the Year. Mike has been with the UGS for about 14 years; he is currently a Senior Scientist and manages the Energy and Minerals Program. Mike has established an excellent rapport with the petroleum industry through leading field trips, conducting core workshops, and helping to acquire new cores. He is considered a leading expert by both industry and academia on lacustrine systems based on his research on the Great Salt Lake and the Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin. Mike was the general chair of the very successful 2018 American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meeting in Salt Lake City that greatly benefited Utah economically and showcased the UGS. Mike’s personality endears himself to his peers within and outside the UGS, he mentors younger staff and students without hesitation, and he is a great example of what the upcoming generation of UGS employees should try to emulate. Mike is an outstanding employee and deserving recipient of this special award and recognition.

Job Title: State Geologist/Director

Job #: 17570

Benefits: Yes

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

This an APPOINTED (AD) position

Click HERE to view and/or apply for this position

Lake Bonneville Geologic Conference October 3-4, 2018

Lake Bonneville Geologic Short Course October 5-6, 2018

The conference and short course will be held at the Utah Department of Natural Resources Auditorium at 1594 West North Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference will be open to the geologic community. The conference will cover geologic topic related to pre-Bonneville Quaternary lakes, Lake Bonneville, the Gilbert episode, and Great Salt Lake. The short course will be led by Jack Oviatt and will review Lake Bonneville geology. The first day of the short course will consist of classroom instruction and the second day will consist of a field trip to nearby sites where Bonneville stratigraphy and landforms will be observed. These meetings are sponsored by the Utah Geological Survey and the Utah Division of Professional and Occupational Licensing.

The conference format will include technical presentations, a poster session, and group discussions.

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please contact Adam McKean for further information. Registration for the meeting will hopefully open by the end of July. A separate formal announcement will be sent out with an online registration link on that day.

A registration fee of $26 per day will be charged all participants (lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, and short course booklet will be provided).

Please contact Adam McKean with questions (801-537-3386 or adammckean@utah.gov).

Partial funding for this educational opportunity has been provided by the Utah Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing and the Education and Enforcement Fund.


RIVERDALE, Utah (News4Utah) Some Riverdale homes are closer than ever to falling off the edge of a steep bluff. New measurements taken this week show it’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.