Page 2–The GeoRecord Vol 3.1

Winter 1997

From the Director

by Lee C. Gerhard,

Director and State Geologist

Occasionally I’m asked why research is important. This issue of The Geologic Record illustrates how the research programs of the Kansas Geological Survey result in new technologies to address long-standing Kansas problems, saving the state and its citizens money and time.

Salt dissolution and surface collapses, sometimes catastrophic, may accompany ground-water seepage into salt beds in central Kansas, resulting in damage to highways and private property, and raising public-safety concerns. Our research won’t stop salt dissolution, but the shallow reflection seismic technology developed at the KGS makes it possible to locate and map solution voids and sinkholes that have not yet collapsed, helping mitigate the hazard. Improved data processing and experiments with new and different energy sources have made it possible to see underground rock formations in better detail. Like many Survey programs, this research, initiated for other purposes, has been developing over several years and is now important not only to Kansas, but also in the environmental mitigation of contaminated sites throughout the country. The same techniques that locate voids can identify underground formations and aquifers, helping predict the migration of contaminant plumes and aid in ground-water remediation.

As we work with the Kansas Corporation Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other agencies concerned about pollution issues, our research helps lead the way to cheaper and more effective solutions to problems. Research is an investment, not an expense.

Kansas Earth Science Education Award

Dan Kuhlman, earth science teacher at Eudora Middle School in Eudora, Kansas, has received the 1996–97 Excellence in Kansas Earth Science Education Award from the Kansas Geological Foundation and the Kansas Earth Science Teachers Association. This award of $1,000, funded by the Kansas Geological Foundation, is given to an outstanding earth science teacher in grades K–12. The award was presented in December at the Kansas Geological Foundation’s annual meeting in Wichita. Other finalists for the award were Sam Wine (Eureka High School) and Vincent Coons (Iola High School), who received gift certificates for publications from the Kansas Geological Survey.

Kuhlman is the fourth recipient of the Excellence in Kansas Earth Science Education Award. Last year’s winner was Jim Clark, earth science teacher at Wichita North High School in Wichita.

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