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Informing the public about earth science and our geologic resources is one of the missions of the Indiana Geological Survey.

Photo of the seismograph in the Geology Building at Indiana University, Bloomington.
A New Boom in Indiana?

During 2008, the rise of oil and gasoline prices generated a boom in oil and gas exploration in Indiana. "We continue to issue permits at rates not seen in Indiana for more than 30 years," said Herschel McDivitt, director of the DNR Division of Oil and Gas, during an interview last spring.

And the fall of gasoline prices has not dampened the efforts of exploration companies in searching out the nooks and crannies of the New Albany Shale for its remaining resources. "As a generality, one may say that when the price for petroleum drops, interest in finding and producing it wanes. However, it is not only the current demand that dictates drilling activity, but the anticipated future demand," IGS Petroleum Geologist Charly Zuppann explained.

At the IGS, the offices of the Subsurface Geology Section have been swamped with incoming drilling records; the high level of drilling activity has kept IGS staffers struggling mightily to keep our files updated. Orders from the petroleum industry for copies of well records have increased to the highest level in 30 years. In response, we've expanded our staff with the addition of two new positions: petroleum research geologist Mary Parke, and geological technician David Jacob. Our expanded staff is allowing us to address the increased information flow and to continue our commitment to timely and pertinent geological research.

The Subsurface Geology Section has also recently added the capacity to deliver scanned well records online via the IGS Petroleum Database Management System (PDMS). This major upgrade in service to industry and the public has been heavily used and praised by many. The PDMS contains information on more than 70,000 petroleum-related wells drilled in Indiana. The data include information on well locations, completion zones, logs, operators, lease names, tests, hydrocarbon shows, samples, cores, geologic formations and tops, and much more.

Thumbnail image of the bedrock geology map of Allen County, Indiana. Click to visit the Allen County Geologic Atlas Web site.
HASTI Conference is Coming Up!

Every year, the Indiana Geological Survey makes a big splash at the annual meeting of the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc. From February 4 through 6, 2009, we'll be there again at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, providing science teachers with new and exciting ways to present earth science information to students.

Teachers signed up for the conference can attend several free workshops that will be presented by IGS staff. Glacial Geologist Marni Dickson Karaffa is offering "Glaciers and Glaciation in Indiana," a workshop that will focus on the fundamentals of glacial geology---formation, movement, and landforms---with examples from across Indiana.

Nathan Eaton, IGS Web Programmer and our former Education Outreach person, will present "Understanding Indiana's Subsurface Using Baked Goods," a hands-on session of a classroom experiment that simulates rock coring by using soda straws to "core" cupcakes.

Nelson Shaffer, Head of the Coal and Industrial Minerals Section, offers "Geodes---Indiana's Oddities," a look into the strange concretions of minerals and what they may reveal.

And Kim Sowder, IGS Head Cartographer, will present "Having a GPS Coordinate is Just the Beginning," a workshop that shows how to calculate a global positioning system latitude and longitude on a topographic map and to interpret the terrain.

Special discounts on IGS publications and products will be available during the conference. If you are at HASTI, please stop by the IGS booth and introduce yourselves!

Thumbnail images from the Indiana Historical Aerial Photo Index. Click to link to the IHAPI Web site.
Geodes of Indiana

Indiana is famous for the geodes that abound in the the south-central part of the state. Now the IGS has created a colorful poster to explain the features of geodes and how they are formed. Geodes of Indiana is a full-color 26" by 34" poster printed on heavy poster paper.

Geodes of Indiana is part of a series of posters that includes Indiana minerals, the fossils of Indiana, and the surface topography of the state. All four posters can be purchased as a set at a reduced price.

Another addition to the poster series, Sedimentary Rocks of Indiana, will be debuted at the HASTI conference and will be available from the IGS online bookstore in early February.

Teachers participating in hands-on activities during a recent workshop.
Bibliography of Indiana Paleontology,
1831 to 2006

The paleontology of Indiana is recorded in a rich and diverse literature spanning over 170 years. This bibliography, comprising 1,851 references, attempts to comprehensively document that resource from 1831 through 2006, and is presented in a spreadsheet and database, each searchable by any of the following parameters: author, date, source, or individual word.

Fall, L. M., and Steinmetz, J. C., 2008, Bibliography of Indiana paleontology, 1831 to 2006: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 68, 91 p.,on CD-ROM, includes Microsoft Excel file and Adobe Acrobat file (pdf). $10.00.

Map Showing Indiana Railroads. Click to link to the IGS Bookstore.
The Geological Society of America has named Maria Mastalerz the winner of the 2008 Gilbert H. Cady Award. This award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of coal geology. Her area of expertise is coal petrology, the science that deals with the origin, history, occurrence, structure, chemical composition and classification of coal. Mastalerz, 51, is the youngest person ever to receive the award, and only the second woman to be so honored.

Walter Gray is the new Educational Outreach Coordinator at the Indiana Geological Survey. He replaces Nathan Eaton, who has transitioned into full-time management of the IGS Web resources including our interactive mapping Web sites. Walt has 16 years of experience as a teacher in public schools and is enthusiastic about demonstrating earth science to children and adults. Please contact Walter at 812-855-1378 or grayw@indiana.edu for more information concerning IGS outreach services.

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