Arizona Geological Society

Welcome to the Arizona Geological Society

Upcoming events - Register Here!

05 Nov 2019 6:00 PM • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712


Other Events

September 21-26, 2019 - Geological Society of America Annual Meeting will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center at 100 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, Arizona.  To learn more about this event click link.

September 25-27, 2019 - Arizona Hydrological Society will hold its Annual Symposium at Casino del Sol in Tucson on Sept 25-27, 2019.  This annual event will feature a plenary session, over 50 talks, poster sessions,workshops, social events, and more!  To learn more about this event, visit AHS 32nd Annual Symposium web page

November 9, 2019 - Field Trip

The Arizona Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Arizona Geological Society will be holding a joint field trip to examine some long-lived (decades) and recently reactivated fissures near Houston and Meridian Road, Apache Junction, and at the intersection of the Thompson and Hunt Highway adjacent to the Santan Mountains. The Houston Rd fissure provides an opportunity to examine a recent mitigation project (spring - summer 2018) that failed in the face of its first monsoon storm in Aug. 2018.

Important Information :

Field Trip Registration

Field Trip Waiver Form

GSA 2019

For anyone attending the Geological Society of America national conference in Phoenix this year, the Arizona Geological Society is sponsoring multiple GSA 2019 Conference sessions and activities. More information can be found in September's Newsletter. 

Member News

Our colleague, friend and fellow AGS member, Barbara (Barb) Murphy, was awarded the Ian Campbell Medal for Service to Geosciences by the American Geosciences Institute.  The Arizona Geological Society congratulates Barb for this well-deserved recognition and award.

Spencer Rowe Titley Sept. 27, 1928 to Aug. 18, 2019

Dr. Spencer R. Titley passed away in Tucson on Sunday morning, August 18, 2019. His public memorial service is at 1 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 16 at Angel Valley Funeral Home on 2545 N. Tucson Blvd. in Tucson.

Spencer Titley was born September 27, 1928, in Denver, Colorado, where he grew up and graduated from East High School in 1946.  His first taste of the future was spent working as an underground miner at Cripple Creek and Idaho Springs during the summers of 1947 and 1948. Spence earned an undergraduate degree in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1951.

After serving in the Korean War, he returned to Gilman, Colorado in 1953, where he worked as a Staff Geologist for the New Jersey Zinc Company until 1955, when he began graduate work at The University of Arizona, earning his Ph.D. in Geology and Chemistry in 1958.  From 1958 to 1960, he continued as Regional Exploration Geologist for New Jersey Zinc in Arizona and New Mexico.  Spence joined The University of Arizona faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1960, progressing to Professor of Geosciences Emeritus.

Besides being a licensed commercial pilot, Spence was a prolific writer, prodigious scholar, prized consultant and teacher.  His list of accomplished students, clients, grants, awards and honors reflect on his stature as a world authority of porphyry copper systems, metal provinces and metallogenesis. 

An Honorary Life Member of AGS, Spence served as AGS President in 1974-75 and its Vice President of Field Trips in 1973-74. He was also a co-editor of the 2008 AGS Ores and Orogenesis Digest.

Dr. Titley was a true gentleman, a geologist's geologist, a student's teacher, and a client’s consultant.  He had a lasting impact on his students and the field of economic geology.

Mineral Specimen Donations

The Arizona Geological Society is seeking out mineral donations for our guest speaker appreciation awards for 2020. We are grateful for all donations that will help continue our tradition of presenting these awards to our guest speakers at the end of each dinner talk. The speaker plaque is 5’’ x 3’’ with an example of what they look like featured below.

If you are interested in donating specimens to be used for our guest speaker appreciation awards for 2020, please contact:

Outreach Volunteers Needed

The University of Arizona Department of Geosciences Advisory Board is working on several ideas for outreach to local schools.  One of those involves supplying volunteers to go to classrooms and talk to students and teachers about the geosciences (geology, mineralogy, volcanology, geophysics, etc.).  We are looking for potential volunteers with geoscience backgrounds who would be willing to work with the toolkits the Department is developing to represent us in the classrooms.  We think it is important for students to be exposed to people who have worked in the industry, academia or government and can share their passion and experiences.  If you are interested, please contact Hannah McCormick at:  (520) 626 – 8204 or

Playing in a Big Boy's Sandbox

For you history buffs, there is a new book out on the history of ASARCO's Mission Mining Complex.  Authored by Bill M. Williams, a retired mining engineer, who worked at Mission Complex from 1973 until 2000.

It is a complete history of the northern half of the Pima mining district with numerous historic photos and maps.  It also includes a chapter on the district's geology prepared by Bob Cummings with numerous color photos of mineral specimens that have been collected at the site.

This book can be purchased at the ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center located at 1421 West Pima Mine Road in Sahuarita, Arizona for $60.

Arizona Mining Review January 31, 2019

AZGS' newest hire, economic geologist Carson Richardson and State Geologist, Phil Pearthree discuss the direction of AZGS Economic Geology Program.

2018 Scholarship Winners

Our December dinner meetings have been time that the Arizona Geological Society presents scholarships to outstanding students at the state's three major universities:  University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. 

This year, we had a number outstanding applicants for both the J. Harold Courtright and M. Lee Allison Scholarships, which made our job of selecting the best candidates very difficult. 

Alexandra Wallenberg

Alexandra Wallenberg makes a Short Presentation at the December Meeting

The 2018 Courtright Scholarship was presented to Alexandra L. Wallenberg.  Alexandra received a BS in Geology from Illinois State University in May 2018 and currently attends the University of Arizona, where she is working on a Master's degree in Geosciences.  The title of her proposed research is  "Gregg Canyon intrusive center, Sonoma Range, Nevada:  Magmatism and Porphyry-Style Alteration-Mineralization."

Lorraine Carnes

Lorraine Carnes makes at a Short Presentation at the December Meeting

The 2018 M. Lee Allison Scholarship was presented to Lorraine Carnes.  Lorraine received a BS Degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Lehigh University in May  2016, and currently attends the Arizona State University, where she is working for a Ph.D degree in Geological Sciences.   The title of her Ph.D. dissertation is "Dating the Onset of Fluvial Incision into a Basin Fill Deposit in Southeastern Arizona."

To learn more about these two outstanding scholarship recipients visit the J. Harold Courtright Scholarship and M. Lee Allison Scholarship pages on this website.

October 2019 Newsletter

Dinner Meeting Sponsor for September 2019


The Arizona Geological Society is grateful for the Skyline Assayers & Laboratories' sponsorship, which helps us offset the costs of our dinner meetings and other activities of the society.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of our dinner meetings, please contact:

For Cancellations or Changes Please Contact

Student Dinner Sponsor
for 2019

Arizona Geological Society is grateful to Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. for their generous support of our student members!

Freeport-McMoRan is sponsoring student dinners for the 2018 AGS monthly meetings.

AZGS Hires an Economic Geologist

We are delighted to announce that the AZGS offered the position of Research Scientist in Economic Geology to Carson Richardson this week, and he has accepted the offer. Carson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Geosciences, University of Arizona. He is finalizing his Ph.D. research and will join our staff in January 2019.


We received ~35 applications, interviewed 7 candidates, and brought in 4 finalists for presentations and interviews. Each of the finalists has strong qualifications for this position, and we appreciate their willingness to share their ideas with us.


Carson’s chief task will be to build an economic geology program to support our mission to ‘provide technical advice and assistance to industry while encouraging the wise and prudent use of Arizona lands and mineral resources.’ He will join our geologic mapping efforts, focusing on mapping and assessing mineralized zones. He will also track mining trends in Arizona and will be the Survey’s primary liaison to the mineral exploration and mining community.

Carson on Outcrop of Breccia


Bio. Carson Richardson grew up near Peru, Indiana – the amateur circus capital of the world. He received his BS in Geology and Anthropology from Ball State University in 2012, and his MS in Geosciences from the University of Arizona in 2014. He has continued at UA working on a PhD, with an anticipated graduation date of Spring 2019. Carson’s research interests span economic and structural geology, but with particular emphasis on understanding the magnitude and timing of post-ore extensional faulting and its implications for the modern distribution of mineral resources.

AZGS AZ Mining Review Tours Florence Copper

On 24 July 2018, the Arizona Mining Review team joined Dan Johnson, Vice President & General Manager of Florence Copper, and Stacy Gramazio, Manager of Communications & Public Affairs, for an early morning tour of the pilot in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) facility outside Florence, Arizona. 

Florence Copper is in the final stage of deploying a $25 million production test facility, designed to harvest 1.5 million pounds of copper annually for several years. Following successful proof of concept, Florence Copper has plans for a larger plant to recover 55 million pounds of copper annually for the first 6 years, and 85 million pounds annually for another 14 years. Over a 20-year lifespan, Florence Copper estimates the recovery project will yield ~$3.4 billion dollars in revenue. 

In-situ copper recovery is a 3-phase process: Phase 1 - injection of the active fluid (99.5% water with 0.5% sulfuric acid) with a pH similar to household vinegar; Phase 2 - extraction of the pregnant, copper-rich solution; and, Phase 3 – using electrowinning, a process first pioneered in the Globe-Miami area in the late 1960s, to produce ~ 100-pound copper cathodes that are 99.999% copper. 

The Arizona Mining Review is funded in part by the Mining Foundation of the Southwest.

U of A Gem & Mineral Museum

Bob Downs, Univ. of Arizona Mineral Museum Curator & Prof. of Geosciences, is leading the effort to build out a University of Arizona Gem & Mineral Museum (UAGMM) at the former Pima County Courthouse in downtown Tucson. Building renovation is well underway with the museum scheduled for a soft opening at the Courthouse in Jan. 2020.

Two of the museum’s chief organizers, Eric Fritz (Mgr.) and Les Presmyk (Mining Engineer & mineralogist), approached AGS’s Jan Rasmussen (former Curator of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix) and AZGS’s Mike Conway about helping design an exhibit focusing on the geology of Arizona.

Jan and Mike have begun pulling together ideas for an Arizona geology narrative – one idea involves building a digital display showcasing Ron Blakey’s marvelous paleogeographic reconstructions of the Colorado Plateau and environs, complemented by geologic scenes, lithologies, and interviews as the cornerstone of the exhibit. 

HELP! But we want your help in gathering ideas on the elements of narrative (with visuals) expounding on Arizona’s geologic history. In short, we want your ideas, sketches, brainstorms, and musings to help us rough out a draft design by mid-July 2018 – 3 weeks away!  This is an important opportunity for you to influence a future wide audience about Arizona geology.


Arizona Geology Exhibit. Approximately 75 square feet is set aside for an Arizona Geology exhibit. An additional 15 square feet is provided for a porphyry copper display. (Will Wilkinson. FMI retired, is taking the lead here.)  

Audience. UAG&MM organizers anticipate a largely non-science audience of considerable age range and with limited knowledge of geologic concepts.

Timeframe. Time is short. AGS & AZGS representatives meet with the UAG&MM design team in mid-July, so the sooner you share your ideas the sooner we can begin evaluating them.  

Financial Resources.  Bob Downs, Eric Fritz and others in the management will pursue the financial resources for final exhibit design and construction.

How to help! Please send your ideas, sketches, and experiences gleaned from other mineral or natural history museums to Mike and Jan at the e-mail addresses below. We can meet to brainstorm ideas before the July 3 AGS meeting to discuss ideas.

 Mike Conway
 Jan Rasmussen
 AGS Treasurer and AZGS
 AGS Member and Consultant

AGS Digests Now Available On-line

Articles contained within the Arizona Geological Society Digests 1 through 22 are now available on-line at our publications page.  Our out-of-print Digests are available to the public, While our in-print Digests are only accessible to AGS members. 

Anyone who is interested in purchasing Printed Copies of In-Print AGS Digests can do so on-line or contact the AGS Secretary for more details.  Copies of current AGS Guidebooks and Digests are also for sale at a reduced price at AGS monthly dinner meetings.

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