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Bureau Announces Earth Science Achievement Awards

SANTA FE, N.M. February 14, 2013 – The 2013 New Mexico Earth Science Achievement Awards were presented on February 4 to John Fleck, for outstanding contributions advancing the role of earth science in areas of public service and public policy in New Mexico, and to V.J.S. “Tien” Grauch, for outstanding contributions advancing the role of earth science in areas of applied science and education in New Mexico.

earth-science-award-winners-2013

From left are Dr. Daniel H. Lopez, Bill Olson, Greer Price, Tien Grauch, John Fleck, Ron Gardiner, Conci Bokum, John Shoemaker, John Hawley and John Bemis. Olson, Gardiner, Bokum, Shoemaker, and Hawley are all previous award recipients. Bemis is cabinet secretary for the N.M. Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, in Santa Fe. Lopez is the Tech president and Price is the director of the Bureau of Geology.

Courtesy Photo

These awards, co-sponsored by Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) in Santa Fe and the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, a division of New Mexico Tech in Socorro, were initiated in 2003 to honor those often unrecognized champions of earth science issues vital to the future of New Mexico. Selections were made following a statewide nomination process.

The presentations were in the rotunda of the state capitol building, during the legislative session, in conjunction with Earth Science Day. The presentations were made by John Bemis, the cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and by L. Greer Price, state geologist and director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. The public is invited to visit the Roundhouse throughout the day and to attend the ceremony.

John Fleck has been a staff writer at the Albuquerque Journal since 1990. His focus has been on science and public policy questions that arise out of current research. Most recently his focus has been on weather, climate, drought, and New Mexico’s water supplies, where he examines not only the science behind the issue but the complex interplay of politics and policy.

Price said, “John Fleck has been writing on science and public policy in New Mexico for years. His keen understanding of science and policy issues, and his ability to communicate those issues to the people of New Mexico, has been enormously valuable for citizens, scientists, and policy makers.”

Tien Grauch is a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver. Her research interests include the integration and 3D modeling of geologic and geophysical data, specifically with an eye toward understanding the complex geologic framework of rift basins. Her work in the Rio Grande rift of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado has been ground breaking and seminal. Her studies have been directed at understanding the geologic controls on groundwater resources in those areas where basin aquifers are under stress, with an obvious benefit to the people of New Mexico.

Price said, “Tien Grauch is an accomplished scientist and a highly respected researcher, whose important work in the Rio Grande Rift of New Mexico has contributed enormously to our knowledge and understanding of the region, to the benefit of all New Mexicans.”

EMNRD provides resource protection, recreation and resource development services to the public and other state agencies. The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources is a non-regulatory research and service division of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. For 85 years, the Bureau has served as the geological survey for the state of New Mexico. Nominations for next year’s awards are welcome from the general public and may be made directly to the director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

– NMT –