USGS Chief Wants the Facts
U.S. Geological Survey Director Mark Myers cited “the need for a national scientific framework to deal with societal issues” at a luncheon address at the Mid-Continent Section meeting held in Wichita, Kan., in September.
“We are lacking in base line data in many areas,” Myers said, “and it should be a national priority to provide facts based on sound science to make the hard decisions that are before us.”
He said it is the goal of the USGS to be proactive in gathering the data along with partners, including the state geologists.
Myers, an AAPG member, told the lunch crowd that with energy demand growing and the near future of a hydrocarbon-based energy engine a certainty, the “energy trade-offs (to adapt to non-hydrocarbon energy) must be addressed, including the bio-fuels requirements for land and water usage.”
He noted that infrastructure needs – including bridges and natural hazard planning – are pressing and “the data are not adequate enough for the task of providing the base for sound decisions. We need more data and need to get it integrated, including with the biological scientific community.”
In response to a question, Myers noted that the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are sincerely looking for answers and are open for scientific guidance.
The Mid-Continent meeting drew about 450 persons and featured two concurrent technical sessions as well as five plenary sessions, along with an exhibits area, field trips and short courses.
The Section also honored AAPG past president Robert D. Cowdery by naming its student scholarship program in his honor.
At the meeting, $5,000 was awarded for the best student paper, with four additional $2,500 awards for the second and third place in oral and poster presentations.