Career Prep Webinar with Phil Pearthree
4. Career Prep Seminar with Phil Pearthree - "Diverse Careers in State Geological Surveys"
Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 10-11 a.m.
Phil Pearthree is currently Director of the Arizona Geological Survey. He grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Oberlin College in 1977. He came west to the University of Arizona for graduate school and has never regretted that decision. He gained incredibly valuable geologic expertise and research experience during a fairly long career as a graduate student in Geosciences, obtaining his M.S. in 1982 and Ph.D. in 1990. His research focused primarily on geomorphology and Quaternary geology, but due to the broad scope of the department was able to dabble in tectonics and geophysics as well. He joined the AZGS as a Research Geologist in 1988. There he developed a vigorous program of research, mapping, and investigations in surficial geology, geologic hazards, environmental geology, and late Cenozoic landscape development and river evolution in Arizona and adjacent areas, assisted by of many excellent UA graduate students and graduates. He assumed the position of Director in 2016, very soon after the AZGS was reunited with the UA without dedicated state funding. He helped reestablish base state funding for the AZGS, guided the integration of the AZGS into the UA, and fostered renewed growth in research funding working with existing staff and strategic hires while continuing to be involved in geologic mapping and research efforts.
State geological surveys provide employment opportunities for earth scientists ranging from the B.S. to Ph.D. level. Activities of individual state surveys vary depending on their size, organizational location in state government / universities, and statutory directives and requirements. A common objective is to provide unbiased scientific information to government agencies and the public that can be used to better understand the geologic framework, geologic hazards, and mineral, energy, and water resources of their state. State surveys cumulatively have ~1850 FTE employees and receive ~$240M total funding, ó of which comes from direct state appropriations and the remainder from federal, other state, and local funding sources. Employment opportunities range from establishing and managing research groups, participating in geologic mapping teams, conducting resource assessments, collecting geologic and hydrologic data, creating and analyzing GIS data, and public outreach. This talk will explore the areas in which state geological surveys conduct applied research and provide geologic information to stakeholders and the general public.