Public Announcements

Updates from the NRCS – Web Soil Survey & gNATSGO!

Our colleagues with the Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists (MAPSS) would like their fellow geoscientists to know of two recent updates.

A new version of the Web Soil Survey from the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture was released on March 31, 2020. You can view and use the Web Soil Survey on the WSS webpage.

In addition, a new version of the National Soil Survey Geographic Database, gNATSGO, was also released on March 31, 2020. This is a composite database that provides complete coverage of the best available gridded soils information for all areas of the United States and Island Territories.   It was created by combining data from the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO), State Soil Geographic Database (STATSGO2), and Raster Soil Survey (RSS) databases into a single ESRI file geodatabase. The gNATSGO webpage provides more information about the product.

 


 

2019 Scholarship Winner - Natalie Hummel!

The Minnesota Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) is pleased to announce our 2019 Scholarship winner: Natalie Hummel, a geology major at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Natalie's professors and classmates have high praise for her academic acheivements, leadership, and her "ability to inspire everyone around her." 

 

Natalie is graduating this spring and intends to use the $1,000 towards her tuition for this semester!

Congratulations Natalie! 

 


 

Updated Soil Surveys!

 


 

Call for PPE Donations

Many Minnesota hospitals have put out a call for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE donations are needed to protect people responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (quarantine workers, first responders, and nurses and doctors working in clinics and hospitals). Many of us and our companies may have PPE we can donate. Priority items include:

  • Protective face wear – N95 or N100 respirators, PAPRs, and surgical masks
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Tyvek coveralls
  • Tyvek foot covers
  • Eye protection (wrap arounds or chemical splash)

 

Individuals or companies that are willing to donate items, please check with your local hospital on where and when to donate.  Some groups have information available online:

  • Hennepin County, information here. We have confirmed that Hennepin County will accept open boxes of materials (if they're clean and in good shape) and some used equpiment that has been cleaned.
  • Allina Health, information here

 


 

Do you still need professional development hours for your licensure renewal?

Here are some resources for free talks, which include some ethics topics.

The Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design (MN Board of AELSLAGID) reminds those renewing their licenses and who have not yet earned all their Continuing Education (CE) credits for the period of July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020 (or prior to when you apply to renew, whichever is first) that CE credits may by earned via remote learning, as well as in-person. Televised or videotaped courses, webinars, and other self-study courses, and distance-learning college courses are among the many CE formats available.

TBPG

The Texas Board of Professional Geoloscientists (TBPG) has produced an ethics talk that is available on their website, Ethics in GeoscienceThe TBPG would like to thank Ms Becky Johnson, PG, TBPG Chair, for the updated ethics video. Please note this video and the information provided therein are the personal property of Becky Johnson, PG.

GOLI

The Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI) by the American Geosciences Institute, started in cooperation with AIPG, provides a platform for on-demand, life-long learning and continuing education opportunities in the geosciences. These courses are free for AIPG members! GOLI on-demand online courses provide learners with the flexibility to self-pace their progress, since on-demand courses do not have a set schedule like traditional academic semester-based courses. Brought to you via the OpenedX Learning Management System (LMS), learners are able to browse course descriptions, enroll in specific courses, access content, and complete any course completely free of charge. All learners who complete online courses offered through the GOLI platform with a passing grade of 70% or higher are eligible to purchase Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for a nominal charge. Please note that 0.10 CEU is generally equal to 1 professional development hour (PDH).

Sample On-Demand GOLI Courses by AIPG Members:

 

Other interesting GOLI courses:

 

Click here for a full course listing from GOLI.

 


 

AIPG MN Section Update

The Minnesota Section of AIPG has cancelled the April 7, 2020 talk/meeting and the May 5, 2020 talk/social. On March 13, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz announced the Minnesota Department of Health's community mitigation strategies.  One item, "cancelling or postponing smaller events (those with less than 250 people) that are held in settings that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person," applies to our events.  Although we could webcast the upcoming talks, we are still in the testing stages of webcasting and we haven't been able to test a remote speaker.  In addition, our planned speakers are students and are now uncertain of their schedules.  We will reschedule both talks for the 2020/2021 season.  If you have already registered for one or both talks, AIPG MN will contact you to process a refund or a credit to a future meeting.

The Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design (MN Board of AELSLAGID) reminds those renewing their licenses and who have not yet earned all their Continuing Education (CE) credits for the period of July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020 (or prior to when you apply to renew, whichever is first) that CE credits may by earned via remote learning, as well as in-person. Televised or videotaped courses, webinars, and other self-study courses, and distance-learning college courses are among the many CE formats available.

The Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI) by the American Geosciences Institute, started in cooperation with AIPG, provides a platform for on-demand, life-long learning and continuing education opportunities in the geosciences. These courses are free for AIPG members! GOLI on-demand online courses provide learners with the flexibility to self-pace their progress, since on-demand courses do not have a set schedule like traditional academic semester-based courses. Brought to you via the OpenedX Learning Management System (LMS), learners are able to browse course descriptions, enroll in specific courses, access content, and complete any course completely free of charge. All learners who complete online courses offered through the GOLI platform with a passing grade of 70% or higher are eligible to purchase Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for a nominal charge. Please note that 0.10 CEU is generally equal to 1 professional development hour (PDH).

Sample On-Demand Courses by AIPG Members

 

Other interesting courses:

 

Click here for a full course listing.

 


 

Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop!

The 23rd Annual Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop (MMEW) will be held June 23 – 25, 2020 at Winona State University!

Do you know a K-12 Earth Science educator that may be interested in attending the MMEW?  If you do, please forward this information to them.

If you are interested in contributing teacher resources to MMEW, please contact Sara Welna.

Highlights of this year’s workshop include:

  • Southeast Minnesota’s geology, karst terrain, hydrogeology, geomorphology, mineral resources, and more!
  • 12 short courses and guest speakers on a variety of topics, including teaching standards, curriculum development, flume lab, groundwater, fossils and more!
  • Two days of field trips around the Winona-Rochester area including a boat cruise on the Mississippi River
  • 24 professional development hours
  • Rock and fossil collecting opportunities
  • Tuesday Evening Event – Out of this World! Lecture from Winona State University’s planetary geologist and outing to the Garvin Heights Lookout – Star Party included (weather permitting)

 

Spots are filling up, so register HERE to save yours!

$45 early bird Ι $50 lodging Ι FREE registration for teachers new to MMEW so please invite someone new to join!

Additional details on the new MMEW website (click on MMEW in the top right corner) or on the MMEW Facebook page!

 

The Minnesota Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (MN Section of AIPG) donates mineral/hardness test kits to MMEW each year to hand out to teachers at the annual workshop.

 


 

Practice of Geology Exam Study Group Forming!

Are you interested in joining a study group for the Practice of Geology (PG) examination? 

The Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) PG exam will be administered by the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (the MN Board of AELSLAGID) on Friday, October 2, 2020 (applications are due August 3, 2020).  Please refer to the MN Board of AELSLAGID website for details and application materials.

An AIPG Minnesota Section member has volunteered to coordinate the study group.  If you're taking the PG and would like to try and partner with others to study exam materials, please email the AIPG Minnesota Section of your interest and we will add you to the group mailing list for coordination purposes!

 

 


 

2020 AIPG MN Section Sponsorships Available!

The Minnesota Section of AIPG Sponsorship Committee is pleased to announce we are now offering Section Sponsorships for the 2020 calendar year. This annual sponsorship will be $250 per year, and will provide the following benefits to sponsors:

  • Company or individual name/logo featured on a continuous loop PowerPoint display for approximately 30 minutes before/during the announcements at the beginning of each monthly meeting.

  • Company or individual name/logo featured on each monthly meeting agenda.

  • Company or individual name/logo featured on the AIPG Minnesota Section website.

  • Two free lunch meeting attendances to be used at any time during the calendar year (cannot be carried over to later years). Two voucher credits will be added to your membership account and will be visible when you login and register for a meeting on to the Minnesota Section website.

  • Option to give a 3-5 minute presentation at a monthly meeting (coordinate in advance with the Section President) 

The AIPG Minnesota Section is one of the most active sections in the country because of the participation of our members. A large part of the participation in the Minnesota Section is the monthly meetings. Please consider becoming a Section Sponsor to help us continue to be able to offer low cost monthly meetings to all.

If you would like to become a Minnesota Section Sponsor or have questions about the sponsorship, please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]

You can order your 2020 Section Sponsorship below! You are welcome to mail in your sponsorship check instead (contact Jeff Neisse, AIPG MN Section Treasurer, for the mailing address).

Become a 2020 Sponsor of the MN Section of AIPG!

 


 

Rosemount High School - Mock Dig Site!

The Minnesota Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG MN) donated $500 towards the cost of a mock dig site for the Rosemount High School!

Teacher Joe Christman at Rosemount High School created a new science elective class, which revolves around dinosaur paleontology!  In his request, he said, "An important part of paleontology is doing research in the field and I felt as though this was an important aspect of the science students should experience.  Understanding field research can give students skills in organization, attention to detail, spatial reasoning, and interpretation of data."  
    
In order to give students a dig experience, Joe built a mock dig site on campus.  This includes a 20x20 foot area filled in with sand and gravel.  Replicas of dinosaur fossils will be placed in a matrix of sand and wax.  Students will be using geologic rock hammers, chisels, and other field equipment to record, analyze, and excavate the fossils.  The cost of the project was about $3,000.
    
Joe stated, "Science is about curiosity, evaluation, and putting pieces of evidence together.  This is a unique experience for students; however, it is a necessary one.  It is an experience that will illuminate and inspire students to consider a career path in science." 

To view more pictures of the completed project taken in late August, please click here.

Many geoscientists interest in the geosciences began with dinosaurs as children, so what a great way to get young students interested in the geosciences!

Your donations to the AIPG MN Education Fund and participation in the annual Golf Scramble & Fundraiser make donations like this possible.  Thank you everyone!

 

 


 

County Geologic Atlases - Feedback please!

AIPG Minnesota Section,

We are looking for ‘testimonials’ on how people have used the county geologic atlases. We occasionally get requests to give presentations on the topic – “Just what are the County Geologic Atlas good for?” We also routinely get asked by legislators to provide examples at the local level of how they are used, and even what the economic advantages to having a county atlas are.

We know the CGA is used by a wide variety of stakeholders for many different applications and their availability often results in time and money savings on projects (high capacity wells, groundwater modeling, landfill siting, DOT uses them in structure work, counties use them for many zoning applications, and many more).

We are particularly interested to know about specific projects, but also find value in understanding in a more general sense the types of projects you use them for. Here are a couple shortened examples we have received:

Jim de Lambert, Senior Hydrogeologist, Carlson McCain, Inc: “For most projects the initial information sources include the County Geologic Atlas. For Minnesota well siting projects, the County Atlas Series will be my first source of information to help define the project area and to give the area broad hydrogeologic context. This assists in identifying potential target aquifer(s). If the supplier is a Rural Water System, there is often considerable flexibility with well field location and this type of county and regional information can be invaluable.”

Heather Cunningham, Zoning and Environmental Services Administrator, Carlton County: “I would say that I use the atlas on a monthly basis. In the last 6 months, I have used it for the review of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW), pollution sensitivity for a proposed mixed use development, groundwater contamination at our closed landfill, and in working with a lake association.”

Kristi Anderson, Hydrogeologist, Northwest AqwaTek Solutions: “The majority of what I do is working with the agricultural community for crop irrigation systems; I typically look to the County Geologic Atlas (CGA)….as the starting point for my work.”

Joe Hudak, Assistant Engineering Geologist, Minnesota Department of Transportation: “We typically use the county atlases for subsurface information prior to conducting any geophysical field work or drill rig borings/CPT soundings.”

Martin Larsen, Olmsted County Feedlot Technician, Landowner & Farmer, Olmsted County: “The County Geologic Atlas is an important tool for the Olmsted Soil and Water Conservation District. It is used for animal feedlot permitting and nutrient management planning to locate sinkholes, depth to bedrock and first encountered bedrock. The springshed maps included in some Part B atlases are utilized for local education and outreach.”

If you have specific application examples that you could share it would be especially useful. Or, if you have any leads of others who might use the CGAs, we would be interested in getting those contacts so that we could learn more.

We are also very interested to get your ideas about how we can improve the end-product. Maybe there is a way we can make the CGA more valuable to you.

Thank-you for your help.
Barb Lusardi, Associate Director, Minnesota Geological Survey, [email protected]
Paul Putzier, Supervisor DNR County Geologic Atlas Program, [email protected]

 


 

AIPG MN Student Chapter - University of Minnesota Twin Cities!

Students from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences recently formed an AIPG Student Chapter.  Thier bylaws were signed on 03/09/2018, and AIPG Headquarters recognized them on 04/17/2018. Congratulations!

Nathan Gruman, PG, CPG is the AIPG MN Section liason with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities AIPG Student Chapter.

 


 

How to Use Your 2 Luncheon Vouchers as a 2017 Sponsor!

As a 2017 AIPG MN Section Sponsor, your personal AIPG MN member account has been credited with 2 Luncheon Vouchers.  You can use them for anyone you register using your member account during 2017.

When you get to the payment screen, you'll see a section where you can select to use a voucher: 

voucher screen

Please select how many vouchers you'd like to use and click on APPLY.  You'll proceed through the registration process with a $0 balance.  If you have questions or issues using the vouchers, please contact Shanna Schmitt at [email protected] or 651.757.2697.  Thank you for your sponsorship!

 

 


 

AIPG MN Student Chapter - University of St. Thomas!

Students from the University of St. Thomas Geology Department recently formed an AIPG Student Chapter.  Thier bylaws were signed on 02/13/2015, and AIPG Headquarters recognized them on 03/30/2015. Congratulations!

Sara Nelson of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is the AIPG MN Section liason with the University of St. Thomas AIPG Student Chapter.

UST Student Chapter