Geology and Earth Resources
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The Division of Geology and Earth Resources is Washington state's geological survey and contributes to the safety and economic well-being of Washington’s citizens.

Left: Digital elevation model of the channeled scablands in the Columbia Basin.


Geologic
hazards

Geologic
maps

Energy, mining
and minerals

Publications
and data

Washington
geology library

Explore
popular geology

Licensing
 

Contact
Us

One of the most significant tasks of the Division is the identification and assessment of geologic hazards and the public outreach that helps educate and prepare our citizens. This information is crucial for planning as population growth increases the pressure to develop in hazardous areas.

  • We develop and publish hazard maps that become critical tools for transportation, land-use, and emergency management planning. These maps are used also used by state and local governments to develop and update hazard-mitigation and disaster response plans, and to mark geologically sensitive areas.
  • We identify and map the characteristics of geologic materials, areas subject to ground failure during earthquakes and large precipitation events, regions of low- and high-water infiltration potential, and probable groundwater pathways.
  • We provide technical assistance to state, regional, tribal, and local governments on the interpretation and application of our hazard assessments.
  • We work closely with the Washington Emergency Management Division, the Washington Seismic Safety Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and citizens in at-risk communities to ensure the best-available science is used in the development of hazard-mitigation plans.
  • We collaborate with NOAA to model the inundation of coastal areas from tsunamis. This information is then used to develop and publish tsunami inundation and evacuation maps in partnership with the Washington Emergency Management Division and local, county, tribal, and other planners.
  • We also work with an inter-agency team to develop response plans to volcanic events and loss estimation and multi-hazard analyses for areas near volcanoes.

Geologic maps are the most fundamental and important tools of earth scientists because they show the types and ages of rocks at or near the Earth’s surface. These maps are used for a broad range of practical applications, including growth-management planning, transportation, dam safety, hazard and risk assessment, Puget Sound cleanup and restoration, water resource appraisals, resource use and protection, education, recreation, and scientific research.

Environmental Impact Statements often contain geologic maps that were published by the Division. Our state-wide scope allows us to produce maps that cover whole areas of the state at a variety of scales. Without these maps, EIS originators would be required to generate their own information at significant cost. Additionally, the resulting patchwork of small irregular areas would be unsuitable for regional hazard assessment or planning.

Most geologic maps are constructed by gathering lots of surficial information and samples from outcrops, but information obtained from wells, geotechnical borings, and geophysical surveys are vital to understanding the subsurface and constructing cross sections. In recent years, the Division has gathered these data, made them available to the public, and used them to create 3D visualizations of the geology.

 

Washington has numerous natural resources, including sand, gravel and hard rock aggregate, minerals, and energy resources such as coal, oil and gas, and geothermal. Over its history, the Division has maintained inventories of these resources and has assessed hazards related to mines no longer in use.

The Division is responsible for regulating the reclamation of lands after surface mining has been completed. In addition, the Division regulates exploration and drilling of oil and gas and geothermal resources. This is done to ensure that drilling is done in a manner that protects the environment and conserves resources, including ground-water.

 

One of the largest components of what we do is to ensure timely communication of our work to all of our stakeholders, including the public. This increases public, organizational, and tribal awareness of the geology and geologic hazards of our state. The delivery of timely information also helps to ensure public safety and that the best-available science is being used for planning purposes.

The Division has worked diligently over the past ten years to put most of our data into digital GIS format. Most of our data are now available for download and for viewing on our Interactive Portal. Our standard publications are primarily published digitally (as PDF documents), although select publications may still be obtained in print format through the Department of Enterprise Services myFulfillment.

 

To fully understand the geology of an area requires information on its soils, surficial deposits, bedrock, stratigraphy, paleontology, mineralogy, geochemistry, geochronology, structural geology, hydrology, and geophysics (seismic, gravity, magnetic and other surveys), to name a few.

Geologic research is time-consuming and can be initially expensive, but these reports retain their value and utility for many years. The Washington Geology Library has the state’s largest collection of publications and theses about the geology of Washington. Cataloguing and providing these items to the public provides an economic return to society many times the initial cost of the research.

The Washington Geology Library contains over 80,000 items, and more than 1,000 items are added each year. A full library catalog and geologic map index are available online.

An important component of what we do is to provide information about Washington's geology and to provide public outreach. Our goal is to make geologic concepts and the issues that we face tangible and accessible to non-geologists.

We also want to share our excitement about some of Washington's amazing geologic history, including the voluminous Columbia River flood basalts, catastrophic ice-age floods, coastal processes, glacial landforms, the Cascadia subduction zone, our five stratovolcanoes, or accreted and exotic terranes.

 

The State of Washington requires licensure to practice geology in order to safeguard life, health, and property and to promote the public welfare. There are a few exceptions, such as working for the federal government or working for a geologist who is already licensed.

Geologists are licensed through the Washington State Department of Licensing. Geologist licensing ensures competency and helps to maintain high performance standards.

Becoming a Licensed Geologist (L.G.) requires a combination of rigorous education, 5 years of experience working under the supervision of a geologist, and passing the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) test. Further specialty licenses—Licensed Engineering Geologist (L.E.G.) or Licensed Hydrogeologist (L.HG.)—may be earned after obtaining the basic licensure and once further experience is gained and the relevant specialty test is passed. All tests are administered by the Washington State Department of Licensing. Licenses must be renewed each year to maintain good standing.

If you wish to hire a geologist, ensure that they are a licensed professional by looking them up at the Department of Licensing.

If you want more information on how to obtain a license, check out this flow chart produced by the Department of Licensing and go to their "How to get your license" page.

Western Washington University and the University of Washington each have a page about licensure, with specific information about how their courses fit the educational requirements of the state.

Mailing Address

Physical Address

Washington Department of
Natural Resources
Division of Geology and Earth Resources
1111 Washington St. SE
MS 47007
Olympia, WA 98504-7007
Natural Resources Bldg, Rm 148
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501-7007
Phone: 360-902-1450
Fax: 360-902-1785
E-mail: geology@dnr.wa.gov
(general services)
stephanie.earls@dnr.wa.gov
(library services)

 

WHO WE ARE

 DIVISION MANAGEMENT
Name Position Phone Email
Norman,
David (Dave)
L.G., L.H.G., L.E.G.
State Geologist
Division Manager
360.902.1439 dave.norman
@dnr.wa.gov
Walsh,
Timothy (Tim)
L.G., L.E.G.
Assistant State Geologist 360.902.1432 tim.walsh
@dnr.wa.gov
 SURFACE MINE RECLAMATION PROGRAM
Name Position Phone Email
Berwick,
Robert H.
GIS Analyst 360.902.1431 robert.berwick
@dnr.wa.gov
Bromley,
John
L.G., L.E.G.
Assistant State Geologist 360.902.1452 john.bromley
@dnr.wa.gov
Damer,
Nicole
Surface Mine Specialist 360.902.2912 nicole.damer
@dnr.wa.gov
Gillum,
Carrie
L.G.
Surface Mine Geologist 360.902.1438 carrie.gillum
@dnr.wa.gov
Kinnamon,
Stefanie
Scanning Technician 360.902.1469 stefanie.kinnamon
@dnr.wa.gov
Massey,
Bryan
Surface Mine Specialist 360.902.1430 bryan.massey
@dnr.wa.gov
Newby,
Eli
Surface Mine Specialist 360.902.1621 eli.newby
@dnr.wa.gov
Salzer,
Tara
Permit Review Coordinator 360.902.1465 tara.salzer
@dnr.wa.gov
Shawver,
Mary Ann
Regulatory Programs Specialist 360.902.1454 maryann.shawver
@dnr.wa.gov
Skov,
Rian
L.G.
Senior Mining Geologist 360.902.1433 rian.skov
@dnr.wa.gov
 GEOLOGIC MAPPING PROGRAM
Name Position Phone Email
Dragovich,
Joe D.
L.G., L.E.G.
Lead Mapping Geologist 360.902.1443 joe.dragovich
@dnr.wa.gov
Polenz,
Michael
L.G., L.E.G.
Mapping Geologist 360.902.1459 michael.polenz
@dnr.wa.gov
 GEOLOGIC HAZARDS AND LANDSLIDE HAZARD MAPPING PROGRAM
Name Position Phone Email
Biel,
Alyssa
Landslide Hazard Geologist 360.902.1495 alyssa.biel
@dnr.wa.gov
Cakir,
Recep (Ray)
L.G.
Hazards Geophysicist 360.902.1460 ray.cakir
@dnr.wa.gov
Contreras,
Trevor
L.G., L.E.G.
Landslide Hazard Geologist 360.902.1553 trevor.contreras
@dnr.wa.gov
Jacobacci,
Kara
Landslide Hazard Geologist 360.902.2141 kara.jacobacci
@dnr.wa.gov
Lau,
Todd
Geophysical Survey Technician 360.902.1466 todd.lau
@dnr.wa.gov
Mickelson,
Kate
L.G.
Landslide Hazard Geologist 360.902.1488 kate.mickelson
@dnr.wa.gov
Slaughter,
Stephen
L.G., L.E.G.
Landslide Hazard Mapping Program Coordinator 360.902.1498 stephen.slaughter
@dnr.wa.gov
 GIS AND PUBLICATIONS SECTION
Name Position Phone Email
Cabibbo,
Ashley
Scientific Technician / Social Media Coordinator 360.902.1453 ashley.cabibbo
@dnr.wa.gov
Coe,
Daniel
GIS Cartographer 360.902.1559 daniel.coe
@dnr.wa.gov
Czajkowski,
Jessica
L.G.
Lead Geology Editor / Section Manager 360.902.1117 jessica.czajkowski
@dnr.wa.gov
Hubert,
Ian
GIS Geoscientist 360.902.1436 ian.hubert
@dnr.wa.gov
Jeschke,
David
Database Administrator 360.902.1558 dave.jeschke
@dnr.wa.gov
Roloff,
Jari
Editor (Emeritus) 360.902.1457 jari.roloff
@dnr.wa.gov
Schuster,
J. Eric
GIS Geoscientist 360.902.1451 eric.schuster
@dnr.wa.gov
Steely,
Alex
L.G.
Graphical Editor 360.902.1471 alex.steely
@dnr.wa.gov
 LIDAR PROGRAM
Name Position Phone Email
Gleason,
Abigail
Lidar Manager 360.902.1560 abigail.gleason
@dnr.wa.gov
McWethy,
Leslie (Guy)
Lidar Specialist 360.902.1712 guy.mcwethy
@dnr.wa.gov
 GEOTHERMAL AND SUBSURFACE DATA
Name Position Phone Email
Eungard,
Daniel (Dan)
G.I.T.
Subsurface Data Geoscientist 360.902.1463 daniel.eungard
@dnr.wa.gov
Forson,
Corina
Geothermal Geoscientist 360.902.1455 corina.forson
@dnr.wa.gov
 WASHINGTON GEOLOGY LIBRARY
Name Position Phone Email
Earls,
Stephanie
Librarian / Geoscientist 360.902.1473 stephanie.earls
@dnr.wa.gov