Arizona Geological Society

Welcome to the Arizona Geological Society

AGS By-Laws Change Effective March 6, 2018

Effective March 6, 2018, the AGS membership has voted to change Article IX, paragraph 2(d) of the AGS Bylaws from: 

(d) 50-Year Members – members in good standing who have maintained continuous membership for a minimum of 50 years shall have the privileges of a full member of the Society and will be excused from further payment of dues.


(d) 50-Year Members – members in good standing who have maintained membership for a minimum of 50 years shall have the privileges of a full member of the Society and will be excused from further payment of dues.

Arizona Mining Review February 15, 2018

Michael Conway of the Arizona Geological Survey interviews bob Comer, President of the American Exploration and Mining Association at the AEMA's Winter Reception at the Double Tree Tucson.  I recommend viewing this interesting video about Arizona's mining industry.

USGS 2019 Budget takes a Shellacking

If President Trump's 2019 budget becomes law, the U.S. Geological Survey budget will fall 20% to $859.7 million.  Full-time employees in turn, will be reduced from the current 4,876 to 3,677; a diminution of about 25%.

Learn more about this at Arizona Geology Blog Post.

Peter Ward Presented an Alternative View on Climate Change at January 2018 Meeting

On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Peter L. Ward presented "Bringing Peace to the Climate Wars."   In the linked video, he presents an alternate view on what controls climate change. Ozone depletion theory provides a better explanation of scientific observations than the Greenhouse Gas model.  Depletion of the ozone layer by gases released by volcanic activity provides a clear, direct and comprehensive explanation for climate changes during recent years and throughout earth's history.

Anyone who wishes to learn more about Peter Ward's research on climate change may visit his web site at What Really Causes Global Warming?  Greenhouse Gases or Ozone Depletion. It you have any comments or questions about this presentation or his research, you can contact Peter at

2017 Scholarship Recipients Recognized at December Meeting

Jessie Pearl (right) Awarded M. Lee Allison Scholarship by Ann Pattison.  You can learn more about Jessie Pearl and her professional accomplishments at the M. Lee Allison Scholarship page of this web site.

Michael Kessela (right) Awarded J. Harold Courtright Scholarship by Ann Pattison.  You can learn more about Michael Kessela and his proposed Master's research on the Austin pluton in central Nevada at the J. Harold Courthright Scholarship page of this web site.

Future of the AGS is Uncertain by David F. Briggs, AGS President


Since its inception in 1948, the Arizona Geological Society (AGS) has been an organization run by members, who have volunteered their time to conduct its business.  Over the years, older members have been succeeded by younger professionals providing an unbroken chain of experienced leadership that has allowed the Society to flourish.  The efforts of many who have volunteered their services have made it possible for the AGS to  accomplish its mission to promote and encourage interest in the geology of the State of Arizona.

The Arizona Geological Society has sponsored field trips and symposia and published numerous field trip guidebooks and digests at irregular intervals.  Monthly dinner meetings with presentations on a wide variety of interesting topics have provided a forum for stimulating discussions, valuable networking opportunities, and camaraderie among colleagues and others with similar interests.  The AGS has supported the next generation of geosciences professionals through academic scholarships to students at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.  It has also helped educate government officials and the public about the importance of geology.

I have heard some members question the relevancy of the AGS.  To be sure, our level of activity has waxed and waned over the years, but I believe it is misguided to consider the AGS irrelevant.  All of the activities, mentioned above, are relevant to the Society's mission.  However, there is one thing that is certain, none of its accomplishments would have been possible had members not volunteered their time to make it a reality. 

In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to find volunteers, who are willing to make a commitment to serve on the Society's governing board and other supporting activities.  Unfilled positions and recent resignations from the Executive Committee now seriously threaten the viability of the organization itself.  The AGS currently needs volunteers to serve as Treasurer, Vice Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Secretary during 2018.  Unless these positions are filled, AGS's ability to conduct business is in question.

The Arizona Geological Society cannot function without membership participation.  Take a moment to consider what you can do to help the Society.  Whether it prospers and finds new and innovative ways to serve the geological community or becomes extinct; its future is in your hands.  The Society's success in carrying out its mission depends on you and the amount of work you are willing to contribute to this endeavor.  In addition to the satisfaction of knowing your efforts make a difference in our local world, you will gain a wider group of friends and colleagues and the appreciation of all AGS members.

Spring 2017 Field Trip Acknowledgements

The success of our Spring Field Trip to Chilito on Saturday April 22, 2017 would not have been possible without the volunteers, resources and financial assistance provided by ASARCO LLC and Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.  The Arizona Geological Society is grateful for their generous support.

Wolf Schuh and Don Applebee

Any successful event of this type requires a lot of hard work and planning by many individuals.   The Arizona Geological Society applauds Don Applebee and Wolf Schuh for their excellent job of planning and leading this event as well as preparing an excellent field trip guidebook for its participants.


Stan Evans

Stan Evans handled the field trip's business aspects, dealing with the check-in and collection of registration fees from participants.   Asarco personnel and former employees, who volunteered their time help out with the field trip included:  Julian Tellez Perez, Bobby Prescott, Ed Zurcher, Marisa Lerew, Dave Nonnast, Bob Cummings and Petra Webb.

Lunch Time at Chilito

Finally, we must not forget, Ortrud and Anna Schuh, who helped out by getting the lunches and refreshments that were enjoyed by all participants.

Pnotos were provided by Dave Wahl, Marisa Lerew, Ortrud Schuh and Stan Keith.

The Arizona Geological Society thanks everyone, who helped make our 2017 Spring Field Trip a successful event.

March 2018 Newsletter

Dinner Meeting Sponsor for March 2018

The March 2018 dinner meeting is sponsored by:

This assistance 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 2018

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.

Upcoming events - Register Here!

29 Mar 2018 5:15 PM • Meet in the front of the west side of the historic Pima County Courthouse building next to El Presidio Park.
03 Apr 2018 6:00 PM • Sheraton, 5151 E Grant Rd. (& Rosemont), Tucson AZ 85712
21 Apr 2018 8:30 AM • Attendees will meet at 8:30 AM at the United Verde General Office, which is located north of town on the Jerome-Perkinsville Road.

Other Events

Desert Gardens International Rock, Gem and Mineral Show - January 1 through February 28, 2018, 9AM to 5PM, Desert Garden Show Grounds, 1055 Kuehn Road, Quartzite, AZ

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show - February 8, 9, 10, 11, 2018, 10AM to 6 PM, Crystals an d Crystal Forms, Tucson Convention Center, 260 South Church  Ave., Tucson, AZ

2018 SME Annual Conference, February 25, 26, 27 and 28, 2018, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2017 Spring Field Trip Report

On April 22nd, the weather was excellent as 72 participants gathered for the Arizona Geological Society spring field trip to the Laramide-age Chilito porphyry copper deposit, located in the Dripping Spring Mountains, Gila County, Arizona.  Participants represented multiple mining companies, university facility and students and variety of other geologists; some who journeyed from as far away as California and Colorado to attend the event.

The  day started with an introduction to some of the important host rocks of the Chilito porphyry copper deposit.  Participants observed the Keystone fault with altered diabase in the foot wall juxtaposed against  Naco Limestone in the hanging wall.

Don Applebee describes regional stratigraphy and structure at scenic overlook (Stop 2)

At the second stop, Don Applebee gave a description of the regional stratigraphy and structure from a scenic overlook, and described historic mine workings at distal skarn and replacement deposits.  At this locality, participants were able to examine representative examples of core.

Participants Examine Copper Oxide Mineralization in Troy Quartzite at Velasco Pit

Stop three was a visit to the Velasco Pit, where the Troy Quartzite was historically mined for silica flux.  Dikes of quartz diorite cut the Troy Quartzite at this locality.  Participants enjoyed hunting for azurite, malachite, and chrysocolla within the quartzite.

Participants examine diopsidic skarn at Stop 5

Participants were able to observe pervasive sericite alteration in diabase and the stock.  At stop five, participants observed diopsidic skarn with copper mineralization in the Mescal Limestone.  A final stop allowed participants to examine outcrops containing multiple generations of dense quartz veining within the quartz diorite intrusion.

Participants examine Multiple Generations of Quartz-Sericite-Pyrite Veining in Quartz Diorite

Overall, the field trip allowed participants to observe a range of alteration styles in different host rocks, which gave them a better understanding of the Chilito porphyry copper system.

Extra copies of the Spring Field Trip Guidebook to Chilito will be available for purchase at our monthly dinner meetings.

Arizona Geological Survey Gets Funding for Fiscal 2018

Due to the efforts of Sen. Griffin, Steve Trussell, and AZGS stakeholders, Arizona State Budget FY2018 reinstated AZGS funding at 2016 FY levels; $941,000. On Friday, Gov. Ducey signed the budget into law. Funding of AZGS will appear in the State’s base budget through 2020. For more on this and the challenges that lie ahead, please see Arizona State Geologist’s Phil Pearthree’s short note on the Arizona Geology Blog.

I’m delighted to report that we are back in business with sufficient state funding to perform our state-mandated services, including:  geologic mapping, economic geology assessment, natural hazard assessment, and outreach and education, among other things.  

AZGS thanks members of the Arizona Geological Society for supporting us over the past two tumultuous years.

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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