Scientist Emeritus Accomplishments

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Scientist Emeritus Accomplishments – collected May/June 2014
Information obtained about 71 of USGS Scientists Emeriti
Les Arihood

I am assisting the Groundwater Resources Program in using my GIS programs (based on arc macro language or AML) to convert State well log data bases into data sets (point coverages) useful for hydrologic analysis. The programs convert a state’s computerized well log records into a point coverage containing each well’s lithology, water level, well depth, land-surface altitude, screen and casing information, construction date, water use, owner, and specific capacity data (pump rate, pumping time, and resulting drawdown) whenever available. The greatest value from this effort comes from converting a driller’s lithologic description, which follows no particular protocol, into standardized USGS lithologic codes. Then those lithologic codes are further defined into either coarse or fine grained deposits. This effort unlocks a vast geologic data source that was previously unavailable for hydrologists interested in:

1.Measuring the total thickness of sand and gravel deposits in the glacial deposits or the total thickness in any given interval of the glacial deposits

2.Estimating horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity, as well as transmissivity

3.Visualizing in three dimensions the extent of aquifers and confining units

4.Obtaining input for horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity for groundwater models

5.Assessing groundwater vulnerability through measuring the total fine-grain deposits above a water-supply well screen

6.Calculating low-flow and recharge statistics from the measurement and position of sand and gravel content in the glacial deposits

7.Water-level data points

8.Water use information

Through use of the AML’s, the project is producing state-wide GIS grids of:

  1. Average horizontal hydraulic conductivity of the glacial deposits based on percent of coarse-grained deposits

  2. Average vertical hydraulic conductivity of the glacial deposits based on the distribution of coarse- and fine-grained deposits

  3. Total transmissivity of the glacial deposits based on an assumed value of 100 ft/d for sand and gravel hydraulic conductivity

  4. Total sand and gravel thickness within the glacial deposits

  5. Thickness of the glacial deposits

  6. Actual hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity based on specific capacity data from the well logs

  7. Bedrock surface altitude

In addition to the grids, the AML’s generate a State-wide figure of the location of large pumpages and a zip file that contains the necessary data sets and programming to generate geologic cross sections for any area in the State.

The data sets generated have already been used by the National Cancer Institute and by groundwater modelers in the NAWQA program and in the Willison Basin project that extends through Montana, North Dakota, and Canada. The data has been considered so valuable to NAWQA goals that the NAWQA program has given the Indiana office funds to enter pdf file records of well logs into computerized text files that can be processed into the point coverages for their vulnerability analysis and computer modeling. The grids are also being used by the Indiana office in an innovative manner to help predict low-flow statistics at ungagged sites in Indiana. We are currently looking for an opportunity to use the grids to help predict recharge rates and recharge rate recurrence intervals for a State.
John Behrendt

  • I gave several invited public lectures on the history of Antarctic geophysics since 1956 (International Geophysical Year), also a Pardee lecture at the 2013 GSA meeting.

  • I reviewed several scientific manuscripts and proposals.

  • I presented scientific talks at West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) meeting, GSA meeting and AGU meeting.

  • I wrote an invited “New and Views” short article for Nature Geoscience.

  • I have been a scientist emeritus since 1995 and during this time I have authored or coauthored 24 peer reviewed scientific papers in national and international journals and two books. I have also published abstracts and made presentations at 3-4 national and international scientific meetings each year.

  • I am a Senior Research Scientist, and Fellow Emeritus at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado at Boulder where my office is located.

Kenneth Bencala

  • Journal Reviews

    • Water Resources Research (7)

    • Reviews of Geophysics (2)

  • USGS Colleague Review

    • Washington Water Science Center

  • Proposal Reviews

    • NSF - Hydrologic Science (2)

    • Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

  • Professional Recommendation and Review

    • US Forest Service

    • Montana State University

    • University of Colorado

  • Letters of Support

    • AGU Honors nominations (3)

For the AGU Fall 2012 Meeting, the following session was organized. The session recognized the significance of long-term research conducted by USGS and university colleague in flow and transport influenced by groundwater-surface water connections.


Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions: Three Decades of Transient Storage Analysis to Understand River Transport and Watershed Connection


Adam S Ward, University of Iowa; Judson W Harvey, USGS; Roy Haggerty, Oregon State University


"Bencala & Walters' Simulation of solute transport in a mountain pool-and-riffle stream: A transient storage model (1983) has been cited 320 times, making it one of the most referenced Water Resources Research papers (99.5th percentile). This work is largely responsible recognizing transient storage as an important hydrological phenomenon in streams and helped to launch collaborations between ecologists and hydrologists. We invite contributions on developments in measurement of transient storage (via tracers or pairing with other techniques), new applications of the transient storage concept, and new ideas for modeling transient storage.

The Invited Abstract of Aaron I Packard, Northwestern University, reflects upon the significance:

Reflections on solute transport in rivers: Historical developments, present approaches, and future promise.

Thirty years after Bencala and Walters’ landmark paper on transient storage seems like a good time to reflect on our understanding of hyporheic exchange and solute transport in rivers. Bencala and Walters’ work, and the related fieldwork of many others at the U.S. Geological Survey, changed the paradigm for flow in river corridors. Previously, the prevailing view had been that in-stream transport was regulated primarily by advection and dispersion. This thinking was rooted in well-established theory derived from the work of G.I. Taylor on dispersion processes, and supported by extensive fieldwork in the 1960’s and 1970’s. River and groundwater flow were strictly separated at the channel boundary. After Bencala and Walters (and a lot of follow-up work!) we now understand that water continuously exchanges across stream channel boundaries. This has profound implications for not only solute transport in rivers, but also a wide variety of biogeochemical, ecological, and even geomorphological processes. In this talk, I will review the historical development of theory for solute transport in rivers, try to convey why Bencala and Walters was so important to both hydrology and biogeochemistry, and discuss how recent developments in measurement methods and stochastic transport theory can be used to further advance our understanding of surface-groundwater connectivity.
George Billingsley

  • The Geologic Map of the Grand Canyon was selected as a main focus of National Geologic Map Day, coming up on October 13, 2014. NGM Day is sponsored by AGI, NPS, USGS, and other organizations.

  • Working to scan and archive a career’s worth of slides of the geology and biology of the Grand Canyon for eventual publication as a web site or Google Earth.

Dale Blevens

The only committee that I am now participating in is the Missouri River Basin Interagency Roundtable's Sediment Management Workgroup.  We try to find sediment objectives for the Missouri River that the USACE, USFWS, USEPA, and the NPS can agree to. Not sure if it counts, but I am also on the Board of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. I'm not in an official mentorship program, but continue to consult with MWSC management (mostly Kansas City Office) on various issues - both new and old.
Jim Bliss

Taken over administration and indexing of four mineral resources archives:

  • the Latin American Archive consisting of 55 feet of files, 61 feet of books and journals, and 39 drawers of maps,

  • the Art Daily Placer collection, 25 feet of files on placer mineral deposits world-wide;

  • 3) the Union Carbide Data Archive, 68 feet of files on tungsten deposits and exploration and 27 feet of phosphate. There is no index, and Jim has started to compile this.

  • 4) The Dan Mosier Modeling Data Archive, an index of mineral deposits worldwide that needs to be indexed.

Art Bookstrom

  • I retired and went on Emeritus status at the beginning of 2011. I spent the first year and a half helping to finish the USGS global mineral resource assessment for undiscovered porphyry copper deposits. Since then I've been working on a lithotectonic database and derivative maps of the northern Rocky Mountain region and a geologic map of the Blackbird Co-Cu mine area (where I once worked on mineral resources of the Salmon National Forest). Based on that work, I led a field trip of the Idaho cobalt belt for the Tobacco Root Geological Society and the Belt Association in late July-early August of 2013. 

  • While working on the Blackbird map, I mentored my field assistant, Shane Koski, an undergraduate intern from Eastern Washington University, who is now applying to graduate schools with the intention to get a PhD in geology. 

  • This year, I have been helping Niki Winzer, a young USGS geologist, get started on a structural geologic study of the Yellowpine Au-Sb-W deposit in the Payette National Forest, where I once did a mineral-resource assessment project.

  • On June 3-4, I will lead 2-days of morning and afternoon field sessions for grade-school students, showing them geologic features in the Dishman Hills urban forest in Spokane, WA.  

  • On June 10, I will lead a field trip of the Coeur d'Alene drainage basin, downstream from the Coeur d'Alene Pb-Zn-Ag district. This trip is for environmental geology students from Richard Stockton College (NJ). I will show them results of previous USGS work on the character and distribution metals-contaminated sediments in the Coeur d'Alene River valley.

  • On Aug. 3-10, I will help Steve Ludington and Niki Winzer run a week-long field trip for visiting Chinese geologists. We will visit the Yellowpine mine, the Blackbird Co-Cu deposit, and the Bingham porphyry Cu mine. 

  • I continue to attend (and represent USGS) at meetings of the Geological Society of America, the Tobacco Root Geological Society (for studies of the northern Rocky Mountain region), the Belt Association (for studies of the Belt-Purcell basin), the Columbia Basin Geological Society, the local chapter of AIME, and the Ice-Age Floods Institute. 

Roger Borcherdt

  • Member of two EERI committees (Oral History and Strong Motion)

  • Serves on the Engineering Criteria Review Board for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

  • Consults with representatives of the Canadian building code group

  • Responds to media requests, including about the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge

Michael Bothner


During this calendar year I have been contributing research advice and laboratory assistance to two post-docs who have been using the mercury analysis instrumentation at the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center. A rewarding exchange of information concerning mercury research has been with Dr. Pryia Ganguli, (Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Dr. Anjali Kumar, (Postdoctoral Associate in Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

In March 2013, I provided training and the loan of the USGS Hydraulically Damped Gravity Corer to Dr. Linda Kalnejais, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire. Dr. Kalnejais requested this assistance in order to collect undisturbed sediment cores from Massachusetts Bay.

Similar assistance was given to Dr. Timothy Kenna, Associate Research Professor, Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, who needed to collect undisturbed sediment cores from Long Island Sound in June 2013.
Public Lecture:

"Mercury Contamination in Coastal Environments: Should We Worry?"

February 2, 2013. Hosted by the Harwich Conservation Trust

Harwich Community Center, 100 Oak Street, Harwich, MA

Dave Brew

  • Technical Review Committee of the Resort of Squaw Creek, California. Evaluates water quality runoff from golf course, and directs needed changes in the operating or monitoring plan.

  • Squaw Valley Public Service District , S.V. Mutual Water company, S.V. Municipal Advisory Council, and S.V. Design Review committee participant. Dave brings understanding of geology to these councils.

Art Bookstrom

  • Serving as mentor on geology and ore deposits of Yellow Pine, Idaho, mineral deposit district.

  • Lead several field trips, Yellow Pine, Blackbird, Coeur d’Alene districts for Tobacco Root Geological Society, Geological Society of America, and universities.

  • Present several talks at GSA Cordilleran Section Meeting and Tobacco Root Geological Society meetings

  • Lead local Spokane field trips for junior high schools.

  • Review GMEG and outside journals.

Laurel Bybell

  • Continue work with Sky Bristol and Ricardo McClees-Funinan to develop a USGS Paleo Database that will be connected to the PaleoBioDB. This database will contain as much of the USGS paleontology information as possible.

  • Continue to be a member of the NAGT committee.

  • Serve as Scientist Emeritus Liaison with Scientists Emeriti and OSQI

  • Collect Scientist Emeritus accomplishment data

  • Primary collector and organizer of USGS Bradley Scholar Program data and served on evaluation committee

  • Editor for International Nannoplankton Association 14th Conference Abstracts (2013)

  • Co-constructor of INA14 Web site

  • Will be editor for International Nannoplankton Association 15th Conference Abstracts (2015)

  • Review several scientific papers each year

Jim Calzia

  • Lecturer, Volunteer-in-Park and Roads Scholar Programs in Death Valley National Park, Jan 2014 to present

  • Bradley Scholar, FY13-14, and FY12; Research title: Late Cenozoic magmatism and tectonics of the southern Death Valley region, CA: Evolution of an extensional terrain.

  • Coordinator, three papers at the 24th Goldschmidt Conference, Sacramento, CA, June 12-13, 2014; five papers in Geology of the Greenwater Range: The dawn of Death Valley, one of two field trip guidebooks for the First Death Valley Natural History Association Conference (in press); and the workshop Magmatism in the central Death Valley volcanic field, Menlo Park, CA, Dec 2011. Currently planning Neogene crustal extension and coeval magmatism in Death Valley, CA, a five-day field trip scheduled for Fall 2015.

  • Speaker and co-Field Trip leader at the First Death Valley Natural History Association Conference: Death Valley, Furnace Creek, Nov 15-17, 2013

  • Coordinator, Lauren A Wright Memorial Service: Shoshone, CA, March 23, 2013

  • Instructor, Extensional tectonics and the Basin and Range: Finnish Doctoral Program Short Course, Department of Geosciences, University of Helsinki, Oct 15-19, 2012

  • Speaker, Neotectonics of the Basin and Range, USA: University of Helsinki Seminar in Evolving Continents, Oct 18, 2012

  • Speaker, Ask-A-Geologist booth, USGS Open House, May 19-20, 2012

  • Speaker, Society Advancing Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference, San Jose, CA, Oct 2011

  • Co-Leader, Field Excursion to the western US (Vasara): University of Helsinki, Division of Geology Annual Student Field Trip, Aug 18-30, 2011

  • Speaker, Career Day at Borel Middle School, San Mateo, CA, Dec 12, 2013; and John Muir Middle School, San Jose, CA, May 18, 2012

Paul Carrara

  • May 2013 - Gave talk to Geology Club, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, “Snowmastodon site at Snowmass Village, Colorado”

  • September 2013 - Gave talk to undergraduate geography class, University of Colorado at Denver, “Snowmastodon site at Snowmass Village, Colorado”

  • November 2013 – Announced that Lisa Binder, Mary Berger, and Paul Carrara won a USGS Shoemaker Award for the “Surficial geologic map of Mesa Verde National Park, Montezuma County, Colorado”.

  • Am a volunteer with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on their Snowmastodon Project. 

Thomas J. Casadevall

  • Support for several international activities on behalf of the USGS; on advancing a variety of activities in the area of Geologic Heritage; and for support of USGS work on volcanic hazards and aviation safety.

  • As chair of the USNC for IUGS, my time during FY2013 was focused on working with NSF and NAS to secure out-year funding for the USNC’s activities. I was the program chairman of the December 2012 meeting US National Committee Chairs hosted by the Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO) in Washington DC. I stepped down as chair of the US National Committee for IUGS in October 2013 and will continue as past-chair of the committee for a four-year appointment.

  • A major task for FY 2013 was the planning and convening of an invitational workshop on “America’s Geological Heritage” which was held in Denver in March 2013. The USNC for IUGS was the principal convener of the workshop, while the USGS, NPS, USFS, AGI, GSA, and the Colorado Geological Survey were the principal sponsors for the workshop. A summary of the workshop including PDF files of the presentation can be found at:

  • Have started a 4 year term on the Editorial Board for the journal Geoheritage.

  • Co-convener of a technical session at the October 2013 meeting of GSA in Denver on the topic Geoheritage and Sense of Place.

  • I participated as a member of a World Heritage Field Mission to assess a volcanic geology property nominated by France as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travel and related expenses for this World Heritage Field Mission were paid for by the International Union of Conservation Networks (UCN).

  • I will also continue working as a member of the core committee on the America’s Geologic Heritage working group.

  • I have accepted an invitation to join the Editorial Board of the new geoscience journal “The Arabian Journal of Earth Sciences”.

  • During FY 2014 I’ll continue to document and archive my science collections (rock samples, 35mm slide collection, reprint and science papers), and to reduce my “footprint” in Buildings 20 and 810. I’ll also continue my efforts in support of USGS International Programs including the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) including work in Argentina with the Province of Neuquén.

John Czarnecki

I will be reviewing a USGS report from California.
Walter Dean

  • 2009 International Paleolimnological Association Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2011 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Twenhofel Medal for a Career of Sustained Contributions to Sedimentary Geology

Sharon Diehl

I am a member of the Acid Drainage Technology Initiative (ADTI) and serve on the Acid Drainage Prediction committee. "ADTI addresses drainage quality issues from abandoned, active, and future coal and metal mines. The guiding principle of ADTI is to build consensus among industry, federal and state regulatory agencies on acid drainage technology development and technology transfer issues. ADTI is focusing its efforts on mine drainage prediction, sampling/monitoring, modeling and avoidance/remediation, mitigation and pit lakes."
Jack Epstein

  • At the request of the Pennsylvania Water Science Center, the Eastern Regional Director, and the USGS Director of International Program, I prepared a 23-page road log and geologic map, and presented a five-hour bus dialogue of the geology between the USGS Reston headquarters and Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. The trip was arranged for a dozen members of the European Geologic Society. Shell Oil Company invited the Europeans and USGS to examine a well site that is fracking the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Plateau.

  • An outcome of the above trip resulted in discussions with Bryce McKee, Shell Oil Company, to study the thermal maturity of rocks at the Wellsboro site with the use of CAI (conodont alteration index).

  • Met with and had follow-up discussions with Mike Horne, FWS, regarding geologic conditions necessary for the location of bog turtles in the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Pennsylvania. Communication has been stalled because of sequestration.

  • Several conferences with the interpretation staff at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey-Pennsylvania, included production of or review of wayside exhibits, trail guides, and landslide hazards.

  • Consulted with David Ruess, National Park Service Harpers Ferry, WV, about mitigation of rockfall hazards at Lehigh Gap, Pennsylvania. This is a site along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

  • With members of our Science Center and the Eastern Regional Geologist, met with Bruce Heise of the National Park Service, Geologic Resources Division, in discussions about future geologic compilation of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

  • Discussed the geology of the Fossil Cycad National Monument with Tim Connors of the NPS Geologic Resources Division. The monument has been de-authorized and is now transferred to the Bureau of Land Management.

  • With several geologists of the EGPC Science Center, I met with staff of the Pennsylvania Geological Survey discussing potential future geologic mapping in southern Pennsylvania by the USGS. Possibly contribute my services if the project develops.

  • Compiled information and listed web sites for landslide, rockfall, and blasting-related seismic shaking for a citizen’s request in Scottsdale, Arizona.

  • Contributed to a very recent field trip for four members of the Office of Management and Budget and several USGS staff members, including the Geologic Mapping Program Director, and the Associate Director of Core Science Systems, demonstrating how geologic maps are made and extolling their usefulness, while concentrating on the karst hazard in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

  • PowerPoint presentations (Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center Seminar Series and Pennsylvania Geological Survey seminar) on the surface and subsurface evaporate geology of the Williston Basin, North Dakota, discussing the effects of evaporate dissolution on hydrocarbon occurrences.

  • PowerPoint presentation of the geology and my field-assistant experience of the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake, Montana, for the Pennsylvania Geological Survey Seminar Series.

  • Organized and led the 2012, 77th Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists, “Journey Along the Taconic Unconformity, Northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Southeastern New York”. It involving 150 geologists and included arranging for and contributing to all 10 field stops and coordinating all invited leaders and article authors. I wrote most of the 372 page guidebook, and arranged conference logistics. I also led a pre-conference geology-canoe trip down the Delaware River about Delaware Water Gap.

  • As part of the 77th Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists, I encouraged the preparation of one field write-up contribution by Chris Oest, geology student at Kutztown University, and reviewed his manuscript, and included him as a field leader in the conference. He is presently pursuing a career with the Pennsylvania Geological Survey.

  • Conferred via email with a citizen group of concerned ranchers in the Sundance area, Wyoming, about a 2012-planned 525-mile-long pipeline by Oneok Partners from North Dakota through the Black Hills, and finally to Kansas. The proposed route extended through gypsiferous and karstic Triassic red beds. Based on my previous mapping in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, I sent them my published information discussing the geology and potential hazards of the area. I coordinated this discussion with colleagues at the South Dakota School of Mines.

  • As part of my volunteer contributions, I have reviewed many scientific papers and administrative reports for Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center colleagues, the Geologic Mapping Program, the 2012 Sinkhole Conference, and geologic maps for the New Jersey geological Survey.

  • As geologic representative for the EGaPC Science Center, I attended several conferences and webcasts of the Water Smart Program.

  • Scientific contributions include a paper authored Dan Doctor on karst in Mississippian through Jurassic rocks in South Dakota and Wyoming for the 2012 Sinkhole Conference. Sequestration disallowed travel to the meeting in Carlsbad, New Mexico, so the presentation was delivered by Webcast.

  • I am presently finishing field work as a co-author of the Flatbrookville quadrangle, Pennsylvania-New Jersey, which is one of the New Jersey State Map requirements for their State map contract this year.

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