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New president's message
It is a tremendous honor for me to become the 58th president of AEG and to join the prestigious lineage of those who have served before me. I'm still in the process of recovering from the excellent 57th Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, that was highlighted by a tremendous technical program and excellent field trips. It was a lot of fun to catch up with old friends, make new friends and become a better applied geologist along the way.

As many of you heard from me in speeches and discussions I had at the Annual Meeting, my biggest focus as president will be on membership. In recent years, the trend in our full-paying membership has been downward (though recent numbers indicate we may be leveling off). With the looming retirement of the baby boomer generation, we will face continued attrition of our membership. However, those retirees will leave a huge demand for new applied geologists to step into the profession. This provides AEG with a big opportunity. This is combined with the unique opportunities that AEG has with upcoming 2018 IAEG Congress in San Francisco, Scott Burns becoming the first U.S. president of IAEG and Jeff Keaton stepping into the role of vice president for North America.

In parallel with the membership push, I will strive to help make the AEG Board of Directors a more involved and strategic board. With the passage of the constitutional amendment last summer, we can now separate the role of section chair from association director and reduce the total number of directors to something more effective. Over the coming year, you will be seeing lots of communication and requests for comments regarding the future shape of the AEG governance structure. And there are plenty of opportunities for you to be involved, so contact me if you are interested.

I also plan to allow for people to more closely follow my time as President through Twitter (follow me @AEGFergason) and at my blog (Geo Slice). Please join me on my adventure and thank you for the honor of electing me as president of AEG, and I hope to see you all at next year's Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.


Ken Fergason
2014-2015 AEG President
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Debris avalanche over snow visible thanks to NASA science flights
The fortuitous timing of some recent NASA science flights gave scientists a rare opportunity to see what can happen when Earth's polar regions are shaken by an earthquake.
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Where a volcanic eruption like Japan's Mount Ontake is
most likely in the US

Could a deadly volcanic eruption like Mount Ontake's in Japan happen here in the United States? It's possible, U.S. Geological Survey scientist John Ewert told ABC News this week.
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Drilling into an active earthquake fault in New Zealand
University of Michigan via ScienceDaily
Three University of Michigan geologists are participating in an international effort to drill nearly a mile beneath the surface of New Zealand this fall to bring back rock samples from an active fault known to generate major earthquakes. The goal of the Deep Fault Drilling Project is to better understand earthquake processes by sampling the Alpine Fault, which is expected to trigger a large event in the coming decades.

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GSA's annual meeting in Vancouver
The Geological Society of America
The Geological Society of America will hold its 126th Annual Meeting & Exposition Oct. 19-22 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Special talks will cover such topics as the transportation of crude oil, earthquake prediction problems and how to land on Mars. A dedicated field guide, "Trials and Tribulations of Life on an Active Subduction Zone," details field trips in and around the Vancouver area.

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Early Earth less hellish than previously thought
Geology Times
Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates. This alternate view of Earth's first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland, which has been proposed as a possible geological analog for early Earth.

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Video: Get involved with Earth Science Week
American Geosciences Institute
View a new webcast detailing resources, events and opportunities available through Earth Science Week, the annual worldwide celebration of the geosciences. This free webcast, narrated by AGI's Katelyn Murtha, provides an overview of learning activities, instructional materials, career resources, upcoming events, networking opportunities, contests, videos and other programs available through Earth Science Week. The tutorial provides a tour of online links and resources for more information.
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Science highlights

Check out what's going on in science and around the industry:
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Industry encouraged to participate in Fraser Institute 'Survey of
Mining Companies'

Arizona Geology
Arizona mining company executives are asked to participate in this year's survey of government jurisdictions based on their attractiveness to mining investment.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Massive volcanic eruption is making Iceland grow (NPR)
Which volcano is the world's largest? (
Closely watched Hawaii lava flow stalls (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Scientists capture stunning lava footage from Iceland's volcanic eruptions (The Washington Post)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

What set the Earth's plates in motion?
Geology Times
The mystery of what kick-started the motion of Earth's massive tectonic plates across its surface has been explained by researchers at the University of Sydney. "Earth is the only planet in our solar system where the process of plate tectonics occurs," said Professor Patrice Rey, from the University of Sydney's School of Geosciences.
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Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those officially representing the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists except where expressly stated.


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