Page 2–The GeoRecord Vol 8.2

Spring 2002

From the Director

by Lee Allison,

Director and State Geologist

Director's Photo


Geoarcheology (or archeological geology) is a rapidly growing specialty field in the earth sciences

The Kansas Geological Survey is launching a new program in Geoarcheology and Quaternary Geology in cooperation with the University of Kansas Department of Anthropology. The impetus for this initiative is a generous donation of $1 million to KU from Joe Cramer, a retired petroleum geologist in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Cramer has a lifelong interest in researching the early peopling of the New World. His interest in KU stems from his appreciation of the collaborative field studies being carried out by KU archeologist Jack Hofman (Department of Anthropology) and KGS research associate Rolfe Mandel.

Geoarcheology (or archeological geology) is a rapidly growing specialty field in the earth sciences. In addition to the application of analytical geoscience techniques to archeological investigations, there are valuable applications to Quaternary and environmental geology, climate change, and geohydrology. The program will be an excellent fit with existing KGS programs and goals.

Joe Cramer set up the Odyssey Archeological Research Fund (OARF) at KU with the intent that it will attract additional donations from other interested parties and foundations. The KGS and the Department of Anthropology will launch a national search to fill the Odyssey Research Professor of Geoarcheology. We hope to attract a Quaternary geologist who has an extensive research and publication record in geoarcheology of the Great Plains. The position will be 80 percent in KGS and 20 percent in Anthropology. Additional support will come from the Kansas Faculty of Distinction Program established by the State Legislature.

The KGS was a pioneer in the early development of Quaternary geology, but over the years emphasis shifted to other programs. The re-establishment of this program at the Survey offers tremendous opportunities to partner not only with many Survey researchers but with others across campus and, indeed, throughout Kansas and the region. We already have numerous inquiries from federal and state agencies about contracting for applied research in the field.

The KGS may be the only state survey in the nation with such an endowed research program. It adds to our continuing reputation as one of the leading geologic research institutions in the country.



Finding information on the geology of Kansas counties is getting easier, thanks to recent additions to the Kansas Geological Survey web site. Thirteen out-of-print bulletins, containing detailed geology and geohydrology information on one or more counties, are now available at

Putting electronic versions of these out-of-print bulletins on the KGS web site is a way to make this information broadly available, says KGS web administrator Dana Adkins-Heljeson. Most of these publications are too old to make reprinting economically feasible; some date back to the 1930's. Nonetheless, as the major (or only) geology reference for a county, they are still in high demand, and the remaining loan copies are wearing out. "Even though it’s not practical to reprint these bulletins," says Adkins-Heljeson, "the information is still extremely useful."

Adkins-Heljeson and Janice Sorensen, KGS librarian, are coordinating the project to make out-of-print bulletins available online. Because more than half of the Survey's 66 published county reports are out of print, they give priority to reports on counties that have (1) a critical need for information, (2) issues related to water resources, (3) strong growth, (4) large populations, (5) environmental concerns, and (6) continued library loan demand.

Converting older printed documents to web pages involves several steps. The project has relied on students who perform most of these tasks. Over the past year, Shaun Morrell, KU graduate student in Architecture and Urban Design, has moved the project ahead at "an almost unbelievable pace," says Sorensen, noting that five additional bulletins are currently being prepared for the web.

Counties with out-of-print bulletins available online.

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