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.
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.
Washington Department of
Division of Geology and Earth Resources
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98504-7007
Natural Resources Bldg, Rm 148
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501-7007
WHO WE ARE
|Berwick, Robert H.||GIS Analyst||Surface Mine Reclamation Programfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bromley, John||Assistant State Geologist, L.G., L.E.G.||Surface Mine Reclamation Programemail@example.com|
|Cabibbo, Ashley||Scientific Technician||Geology and Resourcesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cakir, Recep (Ray)||Hazards Geophysicist, L.G.||Geologic Hazardsemail@example.com|
|Czajkowski, Jessica||Lead Geology Editor / Section Manager, L.G.||GIS and Publicationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Damer, Nicole||Surface Mine Specialist||Surface Mine Reclamation Programemail@example.com|
|Dragovich, Joe D.||Lead Mapping Geologist, L.G., L.E.G.||Geology and Resourcesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Earls, Stephanie||Librarian / Geoscientist||Washington Geology Libraryemail@example.com|
|Eungard, Daniel (Dan)||Subsurface Data Geoscientist, G.I.T.||GIS and Publicationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Forson, Corina||Geothermal Geoscientist||Geology and Resourcesemail@example.com|
|Garcia, Bryan||Lead Surface Mine Specialist||Surface Mine Reclamation Programfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gillum, Carrie||Surface Mine Geologist, L.G.||Surface Mine Reclamation Programemail@example.com|
|Hubert, Ian||GIS Geoscientist||GIS and Publicationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Roloff, Jari||Editor (Emeritus)||GIS and Publicationsemail@example.com|
|Kinnamon, Stefanie||Scanning Technician||Surface Mine Reclamation Programfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Massey, Bryan||Surface Mine Specialist||Surface Mine Reclamation Programemail@example.com|
|Newby, Eli||Surface Mine Specialist||Surface Mine Reclamation Programfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Norman, David (Dave)||State Geologist, L.G., L.H.G., L.E.G.||Division Manageremail@example.com|
|Olson, Anne||GIS Cartographer / Section Manager||GIS and Publicationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Polenz, Michael||Mapping Geologist, L.G., L.E.G.||Geology and Resourcesemail@example.com|
|Salzer, Tara||Permit Review Coordinator||Surface Mine Reclamation Programfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Schuster, J. Eric||GIS Geoscientist||GIS and Publicationsemail@example.com|
|Shawver, Mary Ann||Regulatory Programs Specialist||Surface Mine Reclamation Programfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Skov, Rian||Senior Mining Geologist, L.G.||Surface Mine Reclamation Programemail@example.com|
|Slaughter, Stephen||Hazards Geologist, L.G., L.E.G.||Geologic Hazardsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Steely, Alexander||Graphical Editor||GIS and Publicationsemail@example.com|
|Walsh, Timothy (Tim)||Chief Hazards Geologist, L.G., L.E.G.||Geologic Hazardsfirstname.lastname@example.org|