West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Michael Hohn to Present Talk on the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in the Archives and History Library on Jan. 28


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dr. Michael Ed. Hohn will present “Geology Underlies It All: The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in Service to the Public for More than a Century” in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston, on Thursday, Jan. 28. The program begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) was created in 1897 to examine the geological formations of the state with special reference to their economic products, classification of soils and study of their adaptability to particular crops, of the forests and timber lands, with reference to their economic utilization.

The primary purpose of the agency is still the study of the mineral and energy resources of West Virginia and related issues such as karst, seismicity, hydraulic fracturing and resource assessment. The biggest change in recent years is how information is disseminated to the public, from numerous traditional reports in print to web resources, including publically accessible interactive databases and maps.

Hohn will discuss the early history and purpose of the agency; principal activities including mapping coal beds in the state, an extensive oil and gas data system and Geographic Information Systems (GIS); and how the agency informs the public.

The WVGES is one of the agencies in the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

Hohn joined the WVGES in 1978 and was appointed director of the agency and state geologist in 2006. He has published more than 50 papers on energy resources and a book on geostatistics. He has been a principal investigator for projects funded by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Energy, the former Gas Research Institute and the U.S. Forest Service.

Hohn has served in various capacities for the International Association for Mathematical Geology and the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He was deputy editor of Natural Resources Research, editor-in-chief of Mathematical Geology and treasurer for the Association of American State Geologists. His most recent research has been the assessment of recoverable oil and gas volumes from the Utica and Marcellus shales in West Virginia.

Hohn holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Binghamton University in New York and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in geology from Indiana University.

For additional information about the Archives and History lecture series, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The new bus turnaround is open and there are handicapped spots available there. Others can park in the regular visitor parking area. Visitors should enter the doors at the front of the building. Participants also may park behind the Culture Center after 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 and enter the building at the back loading dock area.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.



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