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    June Social Gathering

    Happy Summer to All!

    I cannot believe it is already June!! I hope that everyone has been taking advantage of this amazing weather and enjoying everything Alaska has to offer this time of year.
    I know we all have very busy schedules and try to do as much as possible during the short summer months, but in lieu of a technical lunch meeting for June, we are going to be have an evening social gathering.
    Next Thursday, June 9, we will be meeting at the Midnight Sun Brewing Company in Anchorage for a tour of the brewery and hopefully a social beverage afterward in the Loft.  Meet at the Brewery by 5:55pm and the tour will start promptly at 6pm (
    The brewery is located at 8111 Dimond Hook Drive.
    This is a change from our normal meeting day/time, but we hope that you can make it for a bit of brewing education, some good conversation, and locally crafted food/drink.
    All purchased food and beverage will be on your own.
    If you plan to join us, please let me know (  The brewery said there isn’t a limit to how many can go on the tour, but if we can give them an idea of how many to expect, they will be able to better accommodate us.
    See you next week!
    Keri Nutter
    AIPG Alaska Vice President

    April Section Meeting

    Happy Spring, Alaska Section!!

    Don’t forget that we have our regularly scheduled section meeting next Tuesday, April 5 at DOWL in Anchorage. This will be a joint meeting with the Alaska Geological Society (AGS) and the Alaska Section of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG).

    Dr. Chris Waythomas with the Alaska Volcano Observatory will be presenting to us Fire and Ice in the Aleutian Arc: The Science of Volcano-Ice Interactions During Eruptive Activity in Alaska. This is a repeat of the presentation given at the AIPG Annual Meeting in September 2015, but it was a wonderful talk and is now appropriately timed with Pavlof’s eruption!

    If you plan to attend, please let me know so that I can set the room up to accommodate everyone (
    For those in Fairbanks, Shannon and Wilson will be hosting a web-ex; please contact Valerie Webb ( if you plan to attend in Fairbanks.

    Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday!
    Keri Nutter
    AIPG Alaska Section Vice President

    April 2016 Meeting Flyer

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    New Year, New Beginnings

    Happy New Year!!

    I hope that you have all had a wonderful and safe 2015 Holiday Season.

    You have likely received in the mail a postcard with some information regarding our kick start of the Alaska Section for 2016. If not,  please take a moment to update your contact information with AIPG Headquarters (

    The Section officers have been busy working to set goals and start planning events and activities for the section.  We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts for meetings, speakers, field trips, scholarships, and more!  Feel free to email at or visit our Facebook page at

    Our next section meeting will be Tuesday, February 2 at noon.  Our guest speakers will be Sue Karl and Ric Wilson with the USGS presenting Data analysis using the new digital Geologic Map of Alaska
    Anchorage: DOWL, 4041 B Street
    Fairbanks: stay tuned for the meeting location near you!

    Be on the lookout for our first issue of the Alaska Section Newsletter coming in January – if you have information or news or photos that you would like to contribute, please email our social media officer, David Crotsley, at

    Keri Nutter, CPG
    Alaska Section Vice President


    A Wealth of Opportunities!

    We recently received a check from the AIPG Foundation for $4,000 to be used for appropriate geological education programs (K-12, etc.) as we see fit. When this amount is added to the approximately $10,000 we already had in our AIPG Alaska Section account (mostly from members’ dues) we now have about $14,000. How should we spend our money to best benefit the public, the AIPG and the Alaska Section Membership? We are looking for good suggestions, please! We hope for some earth shaking ideas from the seismologists, for an eruption of good options from the vulcanoligists, for some true gems from tjhe mineralogists and for a gold mine of opportunities from the mining geologists, amoung others! After collecting the ideas we plan to poll the membership to find out which ideas have the most support.  Some ideas we have had are educational visits to local schools, local and international geological field trips, increased participation in the AIPG National Conference and lobbying of  Alaska state government on behalf of the AIPG. We look forward to all your great ideas!

    Sincerely, Peter Grey, Treasurer

    Should we require licensing?

    AIPG Members and fellow Alaskan Geologists,

    As many of you are aware, the State of Alaska’s Board of Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (AELS) is investigating the possibility of incorporating the licensing of geologists into AELS statutes and regulations in response to concerns geologists are conducting the work of mining engineers. Furthermore, the State is proposing to recognize new branches of engineering and redefining some existing branches. These actions may place legal limits on our profession and the way we practice. Without a clear definition of geology and the various areas of practice, geologists may be at risk of being issued a notice of violation for practicing engineering. Without some definition of the practice of geology in the state regulations, geologists would have little basis for appeal.

    Currently, Alaskan geologists are issued licenses under the centralized licensing statutes and regulations (AS 08.01-08.03; 12 AAC 02); however, there is no license requirement to practice geology in Alaska — anyone can call themselves a geologist. There is no explicit definition of “geology” or the “practice of geology” in the Alaskan statutes. Other states have established definitions of “geology” and the “practice of geology” in their statutes. It may be time to consider requiring a license to practice geology in Alaska to protect the integrity of our profession.

    The “practice of engineering” is defined in the Alaskan statutes (AS 08.48; 12 AAC 36); the AELS is in the process of further subdividing their disciplines. According to AELs regulations, “Mining engineering means that branch of professional engineering which embraces studies or activities relating to the exploration, location, and recovery of mineral commodities; it is concerned with research, design, construction, and development of structures, devices, and facilities of production and the economic aspects related to these studies and activities.” This is a broad definition overlapping with geology. Other states (33) have statutes and regulations to define overlapping areas of practice and several states have reached memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between geologists and engineers, establishing procedures to reconcile issues related to overlapping areas of practice.

    Another area of practice where there may be overlap is in the newly defined branch of environmental engineering, which lists environmental site assessments as an area of engineering practice. This broad definition may be interpreted to preclude geologists from this area of practice. The State of Alaska recognizes, through regulation (18 AAC 75 and  18 AAC 78) professionals other than engineers are qualified to conduct environmental assessment and remediation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recognizes professional engineers and professional geologists as being equally qualified to conduct environmental site assessments.

    The Alaska Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) will offer our webpage ( to facilitate a discussion among the geologic community in Alaska. This is a subject that will not be settled overnight. Please use this website as a forum to discuss this complex issue. We are in the process of compiling background information to provide facts for our discussions; and will post the documents on the downloads page. For details regarding the AELS actions, review the AELS November 2008 meeting minutes [page 4], in which the special AELS subcommittee on geologist licensure was established, and the AELS May 2010 meeting minutes [page 90] for recent discussions ( .

    Feel free to login and leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. We will be scheduling meetings in Fairbanks and Anchorage to discuss this topic. I hope to hear from you soon.


    Mark Lockwood, C.P.G. AIPG Alaska Section President