The 2016 UGS Employee of the Year award was presented to Mark Milligan. Mark is a model employee with a strong work ethic and friendly personality that endears him to co-workers and the public he often interacts with. He handles an enormous number of public inquires that require patience, persistence, and a broad understanding of Utah geology. He has authored numerous popular UGS publications and contributed many informative articles to Survey Notes, and he can always be counted on to do an excellent and thorough job on any assigned task. Mark is an outstanding role model, and is a deserving recipient of the UGS Employee of the Year award.

Bell Hill Mine, Juab County
Photographer: Mark Milligan © 2017

Vibrant purple fluorite, composed of calcium and fluoride, exposed at the Bell Hill mine in the Spor Mountain mining district. Fluorite is chiefly used as flux for steel manufacturing and in making hydrofluoric acid.

A hard cap rock protects the softer underlying pedestal and neck of this hoodoo in the Jurassic-age Entrada Sandstone, in the Toadstools area of Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Kane County.
Photographer: Mark Milligan © 2016


Columns of Permian-age Organ Rock Shale seemingly defy gravity in the Land of Standing Rocks in the remote Maze district of Canyonlands National Park, Wayne County.

Photographer: Tyler Knudsen © 2016



Antelope Island State Park, Davis County

Photographer: Nikki Simon © 2016


Antelope Island is the largest of about a dozen islands in Great Salt Lake. Numerous
ancient lake shorelines cross the slopes of Antelope Island, recording the rise and fall of
Ice Age Lake Bonneville in late Quaternary time.

We get pretty jaded here in Utah, surrounded by all these mountains. Go off to the midwest for awhile, then fly back into the state and you might have a newfound appreciation for just how jaw-dropping our mountains really are. Here are 20 reminders that we live in a pretty great state.