If you live in the First State, chances are you have benefited from the work of the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS).
The survey's 19 staff members do geologic and hydrologic research and exploration throughout the state, which means their work involves projects like creating maps of the state's geology, monitoring seismic activity and studying Delaware's hydrogeologic framework. This work determines the availability, quantity and quality of ground water available for use. (Most of the state's drinking water comes from ground water.)
State Geologist John Talley, who also is director of DGS, explained that in addition to research, the survey's mission involves the dissemination of objective information and advice to people across the state through publication and public service. The survey collaborates with all segments of Delaware society, including government officials, citizens and legislators. Its work informs decisions on topics like agriculture, public health, recreation and land-use planning.
"The kind of work we do has many practical applications," Talley said. “We have worked with every county, city and town in the state on issues related to water supply, geology and natural hazards.”
DGS, which was created in 1951 by an act of the General Assembly, is a state agency that has been administratively assigned to the University of Delaware since its inception. It previously reported to the vice provost for research and graduate studies, but beginning July 1, it will become formally affiliated with the College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES).
DGS will retain its autonomy, but the new arrangement will build on an already strong relationship with CMES. DGS scientists have teamed up with faculty across the college for numerous projects. Additionally, several DGS employees have secondary appointments with the Department of Geological Sciences. They also teach courses, give lectures, serve on thesis and dissertation committees, provide graduate and undergraduate student advising services, and mentor geology students through the DGS internship program.
But the new formal partnership will create opportunities for additional collaborative work between DGS's staff--which includes a cartographer and a well driller, in addition to geologists and hydrogeologists--and CMES researchers.
“I am excited about the establishment of this partnership,” said CMES Dean Nancy Targett. “I look forward to working with John and his staff to bring more visibility to the already significant contributions that DGS makes to Earth science at UD.”
Talley also said he's excited about the move. Summing up its benefits, he said, “It will help us seek innovations that enhance the ability of both units to achieve their core missions.”