Arizona Geological Society

Welcome to the Arizona Geological Society

Upcoming events - Register Here!

15 Jun 2023 6:00 PM • 119 East Toole Ave., Tucson, Arizona

 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Since 1996 the Arizona Geological Society (AGS) has presented scholarships to outstanding students at the state's three major universities, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. 

The 2022 scholarship program drew 15 excellent applicants from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. Eighty percent of the candidates were women.

Maria Camila Sojo Aguero

Maria Camila Sojo Aguero was awarded the 2022 J. Harold Courtright Scholarship.  Maria earned her B. S. at the Universidad Nacional de San Juan (Argentina) in 2017 and a Specialist in Mining from the Universidad de Buenos Aires.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arizona.

Her dissertation research involves the study of Filo del Sol, a telescoped, high-sulfidation, epithermal Cu-Au-Ag/porphyry Cu-Au system in the San Juan Juan Province of Argentina.

It was particularly difficult to chose the best applicant for the 2022 Allison Scholarship.  We decided to award this year's scholarship to two equally qualified candidates, Jessica Bersson (Arizona State University) and Emilie Bowman (University of Arizona).

Jessica Bersson

Jessica Bersson earned her B.A. with Honors at Whitman College,  Walla Walla, Washington in 2018.  She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. Degree in Geological Sciences at Arizona State University.

Ms. Bersson's research interest centers on investigating the mechanics of volcanic eruption triggers to better predict future eruptive behavior.

Emilie Bowman

Emilie Bowman earned a B.S at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 and a M.S. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2019.   She is currently working toward a Ph.D. Degree in Geology at the University of Arizona.

Ms. Bowman's research interest focuses on the study of arclogites and using geochemistry to constrain crustal thickness in the Andes through time.

Tim Marsh's Presentation on Big Sandy Project

Dr. Tim Marsh’s ZOOM presentation to AGS & friends is now accessible at the Arizona Geological Survey’s Youtube channel, ( 

Tim, CEO/President of Bell Copper Corp., delivered the presentation to ~75 AGS members & friends on Tues., 6 Sept. 2022.

On behalf of AGS members, the AGS Executive Committee thanks Tim Marsh for an excellent talk.

Debris Flow at Grand Canyon's Tatahatso Beach - July 14, 2021

Get to the Boats! Fatal Debris Flow at Grand Canyon’s Tatahatso Beach, 14 July 2021”, describes a singular debris flood/flow event that sent 32 whitewater rafters scrambling for their lives. This occurred at Colorado River mile 37.9, just downstream from Tatahatso Wash in Grand Canyon National Park. The debris flood was fueled by a torrential monsoon storm which dumped ~ 1.25 to 1.75 inches of rain between 5:00 and 5:40 p.m. Whitewater rafters setting up camp on Tatahatso Beach were overwhelmed by a debris flood that fell ~400 feet from the overhanging Redwall Limestone.  

2022 Spring Field Trip to Altar Valley

The 2022 Arizona Geological Society Spring Field trip, “Mountains, Mines and Structural Settings of the North and Central Altar Valley, Coyote Mountains to Sierrita Mountains, Pima County, Arizona” was held April 16. Forty-two people attended the day long field trip led by Jay Chapman, Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming and Dan Aiken.

Starting and ending at the historic King’s Anvil Ranch in the Altar Valley, poster sessions were held at four additional sites with outcrops to view and collect samples. Other speakers included Phil Pearthree, Gordon Haxel, Larry Dykers, Linda Sheehan, Laural Goodwin, John Stitzer, Stephen Richard, Floyd Gray and Bob Schmaltzel. All of those participating enjoyed the great field trip and look forward to attending another AGS field trip this fall.

We wish to thank our sponsor, Skyline Assayers and Laboratories and the King family for allowing us to use their ranch for parking and presentations.

Arizona Daily Star Chat - Mike Conway Tuesday, Sept. 30

Chat with Mike about geological hazards - THIS WEEK

The Arizona Daily Star Opinion team will host their weekly reader chat on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2pm with special guest Michael Conway, PhD, research scientist at Arizona Geological Survey. Mike will address your questions about geologic hazards that potentially threaten people and property in Arizona, including landslides, earth fissures, recent wildfires, and flood/debris flow events. If you'd like to join in on the conversation, email coordinator Sara Brown at and she will email you the Zoom link. Or alternatively, the meeting ID is 935 4617 8115, password: 346308.

Women in Arizona Mining History

May 2023 Newsletter

Member News

Long-time AZGS members, Jan Rasumssen and Stan Keith have recently published "Arizona Mineral Districts v. 1, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.  This is a detailed reference work describing the geology, mineralogy, age dates, locations, and past production of the mineral districts within Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.  It is profusely illustrated with 1"62,500-scale topographic maps, mine maps, cross sections and photographs of old mines, scenery and minerals.  It also includes a detailed table of the geologic history of Arizona.

Copies of both hardback and paperback versions of this publication can be purchased from (


Old Dominion Mine and Smelter, circa 1901

The Arizona Geological Survey has recently published a Contributed Report, Geology and History of the Globe-Miami Mining Region, Gila and Pinal Counties, Arizona, which examines the economic geology, ore production and mining history of the Globe-Miami area.

The Globe-Miami mining region of Gila and Pinal Counties comprises the northwest vertex of Arizona's Copper Triangle.  Copper production from the Copper Triangle totals about 37.3 billion pounds, or 13.6% of the total historic U.S. copper production.  Globe-Miami encapsulates four separate mineral districts renowned for their copper mineralization and production.

2021 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show Canceled in 2021

Hosted by the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society since 1955, the main show at the Tucson Convention Center has been referred to as the world's largest, oldest and most prestigious gem and mineral show.

After consulting with public health officials on how its 2021 event could be modified to minimize health risks, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society sadly announced its decision to cancel its main show on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to protect the public.

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society is currently refocusing its efforts to bring things back to a higher level in 2022.

Virtual Presentation on the Sweet Home Mine & Detroit City Portal of Colorado

Rhodochrosite of Sweet Home Mine & Detroit City Portal - Blog/video

The Arizona Geological Society’s (AGS) first virtual evening presentation was a smash hit. More than 100 people ZOOMed in on the evening of 5 May 2020 to see geologist Phillip Perrson tell the story of the origin and mining history of rhodochrosite and associated Pb, Ag, Zn sulfides, tetrahedrite, and fluorite from Colorado’s renowned Sweet Home Mine and the newly opened Detroit City Portal.

Visit the Arizona Geology blog for a primer on one of the world's great rhodochrosite mines. There is a link, too, to the entire 55-minute presentation

To go directly to the 55-minute ZOOM presentation at AZGS Youtube channel.

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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