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Historical Timeline of the DGS

Below is an interactive timeline of the history of the Delaware Geological Survey, from 1951 through present, with some information about the first (albeit brief) inception of the survey back in 1837. More information can be found linked below the timeline.

Click and drag your cursor over the timeline to scroll through time. Click on any item to read more. Interactive Timeline | Table Listing

Eventsort icon Summary Date
Act of 1837

On February 18, 1837, the Delaware Legislature passed an act "to procure to make a geological and mineralogical survey of the State."

Feb 1837
Belemnite established as Delaware State Fossil

On July 2, 1996, belemnite was named as the official fossil of Delaware. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School(Wilmington) third grade Quest students of Kathy Tidball suggested honoring the ancient and noble belemnite as our State fossil.(Delaware Code Title 29 § 314)

Jun 1996
Creation of the Delaware WARC (to become DNREC)

New legislation in 1966 created the Delaware Water and Air Resources Commission (WARC), eventually to become the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

Jul 1966
DataMIL Officially Retired

The Delaware Data Mapping and Integration Laboratory (DataMIL) officially retires on June 30, 2013.

Jun 2013
DataMIL receives USGS John Wesley Powell Award

A team of state and University of Delaware staff has been awarded the 2003 John Wesley Powell award "for noteworthy contributions to the mission and objectives of the U. S. Geological Survey." The group was honored for developing the Delaware Data Mapping and Integration Laboratory (DataMIL).

Sep 2004
David R. Wunsch appointed DGS Director

After a nationwide search, David R. Wunsch has been appointed the next Director of the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) and Delaware State Geologist, effective Nov. 1. He will succeed John H. Talley, who retired on June 30 after more than 38 years of service. Wunsch holds a doctorate in hydrogeology from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in geology from the University of Akron, and a bachelor’s degree in geology, with a minor in chemistry, from the State University of New York, Oneonta. In 2011, Wunsch was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He is an Honorary Member and a past President of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and has previously served a term as Secretary of the American Geological Institute.

Nov 2011
DGS Affiliated With College of Marine and Earth Studies

Beginning July 1, 2008, DGS will become formally affiliated with the College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES) within UD. DGS has been part of the University of Delaware since 1951, however, had previously reported to the vice provost for research and graduate studies.

Jul 2008
DGS Celebrates 50 Years of Service!

On June 4, 2001 the DGS celebrated 50 years of science and service for the Diamond State. Senate Bill 129, creating the Delaware Geological Survey, was signed into law (Chapter 55, Part VI, Title 7 of the Delaware Code) by Governor Carvel on June 4, 1951.

Jul 2001
DGS First Drill Rig

President of the University Of Delaware, John A. Perkins, who was an ex-officio member of the Geological Commission, requested Henry B. Du Pont to donate a small truck mounted auger drilling rig to the University for use of the Delaware Geological Survey. With wishes granted, the rig was put into operation in 1951.

Jun 1957
DGS moves into a new building!

The Delaware Geological Survey moves into its own home in 1989 after sharing Penny Hall with the UD Department of Geology for over 20 years.

Jun 1989
DGS Reinvents Itself on the Web

The Delaware Geological Survey has unveiled a new version of their public web site. Although many of the technologies employed are consistent with modern web standards, giving the user a familiar feel and comfort level, particular attention has been paid to information and the retrieval of it. The site is designed to encourage users to explore content they wouldn't other wise read.

Sep 2010
DGS releases first public web site

DGS releases first public web site.

Apr 1997
First 1:24,000 scale Geologic Map Published

Geologic Map Series No. 1
Geology of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Area, Delaware
By Thomas E. Pickett
1970

Jul 1970
First 1:24,000 scale Hydrologic Map Published

Geohydrology of the Dover Area, Delaware
Hydrologic Map Series No. 1
By Ken D. Woodruff
1972

Apr 1972
First Geologic Map (Statewide Generalized Geologic Map)

Published as a Special Publication, this is the first generalized statewide geologic map of Delaware.

Jun 1966
First State Geology Vol.1, No.1 is published

First State Geology offers news on Delaware geology and water resources, on recent DGS publications, and on DGS staff activities as a twice-per-year newsletter publication.

May 1983
James Curtis Booth was hired as the Delaware State Geologist June 1, 1837

On June 1, 1837, James C. Booth was hired as the Delaware State Geologist at $1,200.00 a year. His field work started in the summer of 1837 and ended in fall of 1838. During the winters of 1837-38 and 1838-39, Booth analyzed samples taken. In 1839-40 he wrote "The Memoir of the Geological Survey of the State of Delaware: Including the Application of the Geological Observations to Agriculture". In Booth's "survey", published May 4,1841, he performed analyses, discussed practical applications, and the name "survey" stuck to be the name for modern research and service oriented geologic agencies.

Jun 1837
Johan J. Groot, Director of DGS and State Geologist (1951 - 1969)

In 1951, Delaware passed legislation establishing the present Delaware Geological Survey as a unit of the University of Delaware. Johan J. Groot was installed as State Geologist and Director of DGS until 1969. Groot was also Professor of Geology in the UD Department of Geology.

Jun 1951
Johan J. Groot, Professor Emeritus (1987 - 1992)

Professor Emeritus (1987-1992)
State Geologist (1951-1969)
Passed away September 28, 2009

Jan 1987
John H. Talley, Director and State Geologist (2002-2011)

John Talley joined the DGS as a project geologist in 1972, became a senior scientist and hydrogeologist by 1986, and rose to director and state geologist by 2004. He’s consulted with dozens of university, state, and federal governments and groups and amassed a list of more than 50 publications and reports.

Jul 2002
Kenneth D. Woodruff, Associate Director (1966 - 1992)

Kenneth D. Woodruff, Associate Director (1966 - 1992)

May 1966
Robert R. Jordan, Director and State Geologist (1969 - 2003)

Robert R. Jordan, Director and State Geologist (1969 - 2003)

Jun 1969
Senate Bill 129 Created the Delaware Geological Survey June 4, 1951

Governor Elbert N. Carvel promoted legislation, with regard to water resources, with Seante Bill 129 which created the Delaware Geological Survey, introduced by State Senator William O. Cubbage in the 116 General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Carvel on June 4, 1951.

Jun 1951
Sillimanite established as Delaware State Mineral

In 1977, the Delaware General Assembly, acting on a proposal by the Delaware Mineralogical Society, established sillimanite as the Delaware State Mineral.

Jan 1977
The Delaware DataMIL Gets a New Look!

The Delaware DataMIL was redesigned to take advantage of more modern web technologies as well as to answer key feature requests to the system. In particular, new additions to the DataMIL include: complete FGDC metadata for all layers, a map previewer embedded into the metadata catalog, and the ability for all datasets (vector and raster) to downloaded as raw GIS data files as well as ArcIMS and WMS map services

Mar 2009
The Delaware DataMIL is officially released

Governor Minner officially released the Delaware DataMIL web site to the Delaware GIS community and the world.

Apr 2002
The First Delaware Geological Survey

The act of 1837, created a Geological and Mineralogical Survey which was charged with investigating and mapping the various geological formations found within the boundaries of the State.

Jun 1837
The Second Delaware Geological Survey

The Survey started its investigations in July 1951 with Johan J. Groot as State Geologist and Lecturer, later Professor of Geology, and Louis P. Vlangas as Geological Field Assistant. The University provided office space, which was shared with the Department of Geography. The cooperative program with the USGS, begun prior to 1951, was continued. Studies of the geology of New Castle County and of the ground-water resources of the Newark area were initiated, the latter with financial support of that city.

Jun 1951
Thomas E. Pickett, Associate Director (1966 - 1996)

Thomas E. Pickett, Associate Director (Oct 1966 - Jun 1996)

Oct 1966