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U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich visits Bureau

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Courtesy of Aaron M. Morales
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Courtesy of Aaron M. Morales
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Courtesy of Aaron M. Morales

Socorro, NM
— October 8, 2019

On October 1st, United States Senator for New Mexico Martin Heinrich visited the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources to learn more about ongoing research conducted by the Bureau:

  • The Senator began his visit with tours of the Bookstore and the Mineral Museum. He spoke with Mineral Museum Director and Senior Mineralogist/Economic Geologist Dr. Virgil Lueth about the Museum’s collection and examined the mineral displays.
  • He also met with Director and State Geologist Dr. Nelia Dunbar, Hydrogeology Program Manager Stacy Timmons, and Deputy Director and Associate Director for the Mapping Program Dr. J. Michael Timmons. They discussed the Aquifer Mapping Program and the surprising results of a recent hydrogeologic study of the Plains of San Agustin that revealed the internal complexity of the basin’s aquifer system. They also reviewed the Bureau’s ongoing project to create a publicly available collaborative groundwater monitoring network.
  • In addition, the Senator visited the Photogrammetry Lab, where Dr. Timmons and Field Geologist Colin Cikoski discussed how geologists use both modern tools, such as ArcGIS, and traditional methods, such as field mapping, to generate geologic maps and cross sections. These maps and cross sections can then serve as the foundation for other research projects, such as 3D aquifer mapping in New Mexico basins.
  • Finally, the tour moved to the Geochronology Research Lab, where Dr. Matthew Heizler demonstrated the process of obtaining an 40Ar/39Ar numerical date from a rock, and how that date can be used to help answer a variety of geologic questions.