Friday, August 29, 2008

Arizona Seismic Station Network

Greetings, all:

I am sending you some news updates about the seismic stations (seismometer) that we're busy trying to acquire in order to build the first nationally integrated seismic network in Arizona. We applied for a FEMA grant to acquire these stations because the seismic risk in Arizona is likely underestimated.

The grant funded us to acquire 8 seismometers for 2 years. While this is a good start, we really need more stations for longer in order to have more adequate coverage of the state. (To put it in perspective, USArray has deployed 58 stations across the state, and everything we don't acquire,
leaves.) We have been trying to reach critical facilities (because they are one component of the grant funding) to see if they can help fund some of these stations for longer, or if they would like to sponsor a new station outside of one we're getting from the grant. We also would like to to get in contact with those groups who have a stake in gaining seismic data, would might benefit from the PR that goes along with adoption, or would actually benefit from the tax deductible donation.

We would like to enlist your help in searching for potential seismic station sponsors. Please let me know if you have ideas for groups that we can contact, or any other ideas you have that can help spread the word. We are hitting a serious deadline now: starting in October, the seismometers are being removed from Arizona; once they go, we'll never get them back.

I have attached 3 documents that I hope you will find useful: our press release about the grant, the Adopt-A-Station flyer, and the station removal schedule. (Note that the western side of the state is scheduled for removal first.)

We appreciate any assistance you can provide us, and if you have questions, please don't hesitate to let me know. If your group is interested, and would like a presentation about the project, please let me know.



Mimi Diaz
Phoenix Branch Chief
Agency Liaison
Arizona Geological Survey
1502 W Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 708-8253
Fax: (602) 771-1616

U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Resources External Research Program - FY 2009

Funding Opportunity and Award Description

The Mineral Resources Program (MRP) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity, called the Mineral Resources External Research Program (MRERP) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. This opportunity is extended to universities, State agencies, Tribal governments or organizations, and industry or other private sector organizations that have the ability to conduct research in topics related to nonfuel mineral resources. For FY 2009 this has been expanded to include uranium.

The total amount of funding available for the FY 2009 MRERP is expected to be $250,000. As of the posting date of this announcement the Federal appropriations process for FY 2009 was not complete. If the available funding remains $250,000, the MRP anticipates making awards in FY 2009 for 3 to 5 proposals; however, individual proposals are not restricted to a set level of funding.

Note that the schedule for proposal submittal and application for the MRERP has changed from previous years. The FY 2009 MRERP is accepting applications and proposals from August 18 to September 29, 2008. Access and download the FY 2009 MRERP announcement by going to and search for this grant opportunity by using keyword “mineral”, funding opportunity number “09HQPA0002”, or CFDA number “15.808”.

Applicant Eligibility

Applications will be accepted from any individual who has the ability to conduct research consistent with the Mineral Resources Program goals (see Research Topics section below) and who is not employed by a U.S. Federal agency. Applicants need not be U.S. citizens and can be affiliated (but are not required to be affiliated) with universities, State agencies, Tribal governments or organizations, industry, or other private sector groups.

Research Topic Eligibility

All proposals must meet two primary criteria to qualify for funding consideration. Criterion 1: The proposed work must be research; a systematic inquiry to generate new knowledge about a subject of investigation, through a process of interpretation. Data collection and compilation are important early steps in a research project, but do not, alone, constitute research. Criterion 2: The proposed research must address one of the long-term goals of the MRP, as defined in the MRP Five-Year plan for FY 2006-2010 ( These are:

· Long-term goal 1: Ensure availability of up-to-date quantitative assessments of potential for undiscovered mineral deposits
· Long-term goal 2: Ensure availability of up-to-date geoenvironmental assessments of priority Federal lands
· Long-term goal 3: Ensure availability of reliable geologic, geochemical, geophysical, and mineral locality data for the United States
· Long-term goal 4: Ensure availability of long-term data sets describing mineral production and consumption

Note that evaluation criteria reward proposals that address one or more of the priority research topics outlined below.

Priority Research Topics

The USGS MRP conducts research to reduce the uncertainty in nonfuel mineral resource and mineral environmental assessments. As assessments are dynamic, so must be the research that supports them. Each year the MRERP designates research topics as priority for support. As the MRP prepares to embark on a new national mineral resource assessment of the United States in 2012, work is underway to update mineral deposit and mineral environmental models and to improve techniques of assessment for concealed mineral resources.

To support this on-going effort, the FY 2009 MRERP will solicit research proposals that (1) will improve our assessment for concealed mineral resources in general, or (2) will contribute to accurate and comprehensive mineral deposit or mineral environmental models for deposit types, known or expected to be found in the United States, that are important sources of the following commodities (listed in alphabetical order):

platinum-group metals
rare earths
titanium and TiO2

The MRP also intends to include gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the new national mineral resource assessment, but the MRERP is not soliciting research proposals related to updating models for these commodities at this time.

For further information contact

Earth Science Week Update

American Geological Institute
Vol. 6, No. 8: August 2008

* Earth Science Week 2008 Coming Soon: Get Ready
* Global Effort Offers Unique Teaching Resources
* NASA to Students: Plant Ozone Bioindicator Gardens
* AGI Website Monitors Pulse of Earth Science Education
* Art Contest Encourages Learning About Trees

Earth Science Week 2008
Coming Soon: Get Ready

Heading back to school? Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week 2008. The 11th annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme "No Child Left Inside" with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources designed to help young people explore Earth science firsthand.

Pitch in to promote science literacy. Dig up fossil evidence of past life, record observations of cloud patterns, or visit science centers and parks. Conduct activities described on the Earth Science Week website at For more ideas, see recommendations at

This year's event is shaping up to reach even more than last year's total estimated audience of over 5 million people. For the past decade, AGI has organized Earth Science Week to foster public and professional awareness of the status of Earth science in education and society. To learn more or to order an Earth Science Week 2008 Toolkit, visit the event website at

Global Effort Offers
Unique Teaching Resources

Educators internationally are contributing to a new online resource called Earth Learning Idea (ELI). ELI offers a wide variety of Earth science instruction ideas, all designed to provide practical tools for teachers and teacher-trainers.

For the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), ELI is publishing one activity a week through 2008. Each activity is designed to maximize student participation, learning, and enjoyment while minimizing cost. Strategies promote interactive teaching and students' investigational and thinking skills. Visit ELI at The site also offers a blog at

IYPE, officially spanning from February 2007 to December 2009, is a major focus of Earth Science Week 2008. IYPE aims to demonstrate new and exciting ways Earth science can help future generations meet the challenges of ensuring a safer and more prosperous world. Outreach includes educational ventures such as lecture tours, geology excursions, articles, competitions, and many other items and activities. To learn more, visit online.

NASA to Students: Plant
Ozone Bioindicator Gardens

NASA is launching a new website to help students plant ozone monitoring and bioindicator gardens at their schools or in their backyards. The website expands on the May activity - "Plant an Ozone Monitoring Garden" - of the Earth Science Activity Calendar for the 2008-09 school year, featured in this year's Earth Science Week Toolkit.

NASA encourages teachers to bookmark the site and visit often. This fall you'll find background information on ozone-induced plant injury, training in identifying ozone injury to specific plants, activities and links for getting involved, and learning resources for educators and citizen scientists.

The site is designed to help young people discover the importance of understanding ozone in the Earth's atmosphere and in their own backyards. As the site develops, you'll have the opportunity to share data with NASA - and eventually with students and researchers worldwide as part of the larger GLOBE project. Visit to learn more.

AGI Website Monitors 'Pulse'
Of Earth Science Education

Worried about the weak heartbeat of education in your schools? You can check The Pulse of Earth Science Education, AGI's website that monitors Earth science education trends nationwide. The site, new last year, offers detailed, up-to-date information on the status of geoscience education in every state, as well as guidance for advocates.

For each state, AGI provides the most recent available data on:
* teacher certification requirements and numbers teaching related subjects;
* relevant courses that middle and high school students must take;
* K-12 enrollment levels in Earth science and related subjects;
* coverage of Earth science within state science standards;
* state assessment of students in Earth science;
* textbooks adopted and relevance of relevance to Earth science; and
* contact information for state education agencies.

The website, at, features findings that many find surprising. Find out whether your state is one of the many where Earth science is included in education standards, but fails to carry through to curriculum requirements or high school exit exams. The site also offers an Advocacy Guide with recommendations for taking action within your state and local school systems.

The information presented is based on available data collected from numerous sources. Viewers are invited to help update information by contacting AGI at

Art Contest Encourages
Learning About Trees

Earth Science Week offers students lots of opportunities to show what they know about geoscience! In addition to traditional essay, photo, and art contests and this year's new International Year of Planet Earth-Earth Science Week photo contest (, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) has announced an art contest for U.S. students in grades two to four.

Challenging students to explore trees and their importance to the world, the contest encourages early elementary students to go outside and directly observe trees in their communities, do science activities with their classes or at home, read stories and books, search relevant websites, and then draw pictures showing what they learned. The contest supports national education standards in science and geography.

Entries are due October 24. The first-place artist will receive a $100 gift certificate to or, and his or her artwork will be used on IGES's holiday e-card. Second- and third-place winners will receive $75 and $50 gift certificates, respectively. Participation certificates will be available online as PDF files for teachers or parents to download and print. Check the IGES contest website for details, including changes from previous years, at

The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Earth Fissure Study Area Maps

The Arizona Geological Survey has just released three more earth fissure study area maps - for the Mesa area, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, and the Toltec Buttes (southeast of Casa Grande). They also updated their Chandler Heights study area with a new earth fissure that has developed during monsoon rains this summer and adjusted the boundaries to their Apache Junction study area.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rain and a Dam Failure along Havasu Creek

In case you haven't seen the coverage yet, a dam failure of the Redlands Dam along Cataract Creek combined with about 8 inches of rain in two days has caused severe flash flooding along Havasu Creek. As a result, Havasupai Village and the popular campgrounds have been evacuated. I haven't heard any reports of death or injury and damage to the village doesn't seem to be severe, however several foot bridges along have apparently been washed out.

Lots of media coverage is available:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Innovative Remediation Technology Conference

Denver, Colorado
November 6 - 7, 2008
Presented by the American Institute of Professional Geologists

This conference will focus on innovative technologies being used in the environmental field including, but not limited to, chemical oxidation, bioremediation, and surfactants. Case studies to be included will be petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, pesticides, radionuclide sites, and other hazardous compounds.

We welcome abstracts of up to 250 words for papers and all presentations will be oral with approximately 20 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of questions.
Some suggested session topics include, but are not limited to:
  • New Innovations in Direct-Push Methods
  • Steam-Enhanced Extraction Remediation
  • Six-Phase Electrical Heating and Electrical Resistance Heating Innovations
  • Innovations in Wind and Solar-Driven Remediation Systems
  • Phytostabilization at Mining Sites
  • Innovations in Permeable Reactive Barriers
  • Rapid Assessments and Site Assessment Tools
  • Advances in Chemical Oxidation
  • Bioremediation and Bioaugmentation in Groundwater and Soils
  • Remediation Approaches for Treating Metals
  • MTBE Treatment
  • New Methods in Investigating Vapor Intrusion
  • Field-Scale Demonstration Projects
  • Thermal Treatment Effectiveness
  • Natural Ecological Restoration
  • Permitting Processes
  • Best Available Technology Resources

The deadline for submission has been extended to August 29th.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ADWR Posts Subsidence from InSAR in Arizona

ADWR has posted on their website a series of PDF images showing subsidence derived from InSAR in Arizona. This is a spectacular set of data to have readily available. The image to the right is an example of these maps that shows subsidence in north Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Paradise Valley over an 8-year period from 1992 to 2000.