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2013 Earth Science Achievement Awards

2013 awards
ESAA recipients Tien Grauch and John Fleck (center) along with past award recipients and representatives from NMT, NMBGMR, and EMNRD. From Left to right: Dan Lopez (President - NMT), Bill Olson (2012 ESAA recipient), Greer Price (Director - NMBGMR & State Geologist, now emeritus), Tien Grauch (2013 Awardee, USGS), John Fleck (2013 Awardee, Albuquerque Journal), Ron Gardiner (2009 ESSA recipient), Consuelo Bokum (2006 ESAA recipient), John Shoemaker (2004 ESAA recipient), John Hawley (2005 ESAA recipient), and John Bemis (Cabinet Secretary - EMNRD)

The 2013 New Mexico Earth Science Achievement Awards were presented 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 Tien Grauch, for outstanding contributions advancing the role of earth science in areas of applied science and education in New Mexico. These awards, co-sponsored by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR), a division of New Mexico Tech (NMT) in Socorro, and the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) in Santa Fe, 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 presentation occurred at noon in the rotunda of the state capitol building on Monday, February 4th, during the legislative session, in conjunction with Earth Science Day. Several agencies staffed tables and displays in the west wing of the Roundhouse on that 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 (now emeritus) and Director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. The public was 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.

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.  

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 that has served as the geological survey for the state of New Mexico since 1927. The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department provides resource protection, recreation, and resource development services to the public and other state agencies.

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.

Past Recipients

(see current listing)