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Staff news

Meetings and workshops

Klaus Schulz, Walter Bawiec, Warren Nokleberg, and Stephen Peters participated in the first Committee for Geoscience Programmes in Southeast Asia (CCOP)-USGS Seminar on Quantitative Assessment, Bangkok, Thailand, February 10-13. Klaus Schulz presented an overview of the Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project (GMRAP) and the USGS National Assessment and was present to field questions and comments concerning GMRAP. Warren Nokleberg presented an overview of the northeast Asia work under GMRAP, the use of metallogenesis as an assessment tool and the use of data templates. Walter Bawiec presented the use of GIS in the Project, which was well received. Steve Peters presented some standards and an introduction to the Project. The southeast Asia CCOP region was divided up into several subregions and working groups of several countries were identified to work on various deposit types in these areas. A time table and details of tasks was discussed and outlined and a work plan was agreed to by the participants. The work will result in the construction of tracts of mineral potential and accompanying data bases for the next seminar, which is scheduled for next year.

Tien Grauch and Mark Hudson organized a USGS-sponsored workshop on the geologic and hydrogeologic framwork of the Espaņola basin, March 4-5, in Santa Fe, New Mexico The goals of the workshop were to (1) promote communication among the scientists working in the region, (2) report progress on studies to the technical and lay communities, and (3) provide opportunities for input on new directions or new issues that geologic and geophysical studies can address. The Española basin is the primary ground-water resource for the cities and surrounding urbanizing areas of Santa Fe, Española, and Los Alamos, and several Pueblo nations. Improving our understanding of the three-dimensional geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the basin is necessary for better management of its ground water. Geologic, geophysical, and hydrologic studies are key to developing this framework.

Laurel Woodruff and William Cannon are chairing the Forty-Ninth Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology, May 7-10, in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The Institute provides a forum for the exchange of geological ideas and scientific data and promotes better understanding of the geology of the Lake Superior region. Information about the Institute, annual meeting, and field trips can be found at:

Other news of interest

David Scott, reporter for ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, contacted the USGS while investigating a British Government report that Al Qaeda had made a dirty bomb using radioactive cobalt and strontium obtained from the Taliban. The USGS explained that neither cobalt nor strontium are naturally radioactive, gave information on how the radioactive forms of each metal are produced and used, including where they might be obtained. The information was provided by Kim Shedd, USGS cobalt commodity specialist, and Joyce Ober, USGS strontium commodity specialist. The report on dirty bombs aired on Friday evening, January 31

Robert Virta, USGS mineral commodity specialist for clay and shale, and Pui-Kwan Tse, USGS minerals specialist for China, met with representatives from nine Chinese geological and mining organizations on March 5. The Chinese delegation, led by Mr. Wang Wenli, director of the Department of Nonmetallic Minerals, Institute of Technical Information for Building Materials Industry, came to exchange minerals information with the USGS on the clay industry, new industry developments, clay resources and reserves, production and processing methods, and new product research. Emphasis was on the clays attapulgite, bentonite, kaolin, and sepiolite.

Valentin Tepordei and Jerry McFaul presented a demonstration of the Aggregates Industry Atlas CD-ROM to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials in December. The FHWA requested a briefing on USGS information products and related technology for use by Federal and State highway specification writers, as well as by highway construction contractors.

George Coakley will present a lecture as part of an Army War College course on environmental security. The lecture will cover a brief history of strategic minerals during the Cold War, the status of the defense stockpile, and the current and future needs of the U.S. economy and defense sector for minerals. The Army War College, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, prepares senior officers for the challenge of achieving national security objectives without military conflict.

Minerals News from across the USGS

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