Major Outreach Efforts

Keith Hackley, isotope geochemist at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), gave a presentation on the chemical and isotope geochemistry of the Mahomet aquifer at the Mahomet Aquifer Consortium meeting held June 29, 2010. The Consortium was formed to study the aquifer so that those in management positions could make informed decisions about the future use of the Mahomet aquifer. The Consortium members are from water authorities; water companies; local, county, state, and federal government agencies; professional groups; and the general public. (Contact: Keith Hackley)

Members of the ISGS Coal Section and Advanced Energy Technology Initiative assisted the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Coal Development at its 13th Annual Illinois Coal Education Conference, June 15-18, 2010. The staff gave conference presentations and helped lead tours of surface and underground coal mines and coal-fueled power plants in southern Illinois. Approximately 105 teachers, from elementary through high-school levels, attended the four-day conference. Teachers earned continuing education credits by learning about and how to incorporate coal-based lessons into their teaching plans. Topics included coal formation, Illinois Basin stratigraphy, coalbed methane, and geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. Posters, maps, demonstrations, and other visual aids were provided to the teachers. 

Eric Plankell and Daniel Adomaitis participated in the inaugural Don Moyer Environmental Program Kick-off by staffing the Illinois State Geological Survey Kids Fossil Dig. Approximately 100 kids and 30 adults attended the event. (

Scott Elrick gave a talk to the Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society (LOESS) club of Springfield, Illinois, about the fossil forest found in a mine roof in Danville, Illinois. Approximately 50 people were in attendance, and opportunities to handle plant fossils from the fossil forest discovery were provided to all attendees.

Edward Smith and Christopher Stohr arranged with Joan Crockett (representing the Illinois Geological Society); the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, North Central Section; and the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc. Chicago Section to donate $500 for awards for earth science student projects presented at the 2010 Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS). The $50 awards and certificates to eight projects supplement those given by the IJAS to the top two senior and junior projects. Earth science projects have decreased over the past years, and there was concern about the future of earth science as a category for the IJAS at a time when industry is searching for scientists and engineers. The societies contacted were generous in their support and pledge to promote the earth sciences, despite economic constraints, in recognition of society's increasing need for earth science information and expertise. 

Mark Yacucci presented a lecture and demonstration about geology and earth science to approximately 25 students and three teachers who were participating in a summer camp program associated with the Unit 5 School District in Normal, Illinois.