News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

November 18, 2013 — Vol. 29 No. 38

ISU Graduate Wins Geologic Map Competition

Idaho State University graduate Robert Mahon recently received the top award for the Inaugural US Geological Survey/Geological Society of America Best Student Geologic Map Competition held at the 125th anniversary Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver.

The award was given for his mapping project titled, "Geologic Map of the Saddle Peak Hills 7.5' quadrangle, Death Valley National Park, San Bernardino County, California" that was completed as part of Mahon's Master of Science degree at ISU. He is currently attending the University of Wyoming and completing a doctoral degree in geosciences.

"The Death Valley region is a geological mecca and a great resource for future geologists," said Mahon, who came to ISU from Missoula, Mont. "Winning this award was very exciting and it was unexpected. I thought that I did not stand a chance."

The competition is open to all students at any level of their academic career who have created a geologic map through recent field work. Along with being publicly recognized at the meeting, winning students will receive field tools such as a Brunton Compass or rock hammer, and will be given the opportunity to publish their map in the student edition of the Journal of Maps.

"Robert was an exceptionally detailed student," said Paul Link, professor of the Department of Geosciences. "He was very self-motivated and wrote for 10 different grants in which we received seven. I believe the reason he won the award was because he put his map into ArcGIS (digital mapping software) and mastered the geology and technology aspect of mapping. Geological mapping is one of ISU Geology's greatest strengths, and we have received funding for nearly 20 years. This shows our department makes quality maps with quality students."

This event is hosted by The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) in partnership with The Geological Society of America (GSA), GSA Foundation, Association of American State Geologists (AASG), American Geosciences Institute (AGI), American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), and the Journal of Maps. This event is being cross-promoted by the American Geosciences Institute as part of "Geologic Map Day" for the 2013 "Mapping Your World" Earth Science Week.

For more information visit www.geosociety.org.