President’s Column – June 2013

Title: A Great Combination… Golf, Biking & Publications!

Author: Debra Higley

Publication: The outcrop, June 2013, p. 6, 8

June1June 27th is the Annual RMAG Golf Tournament at Fossil Trace golf course in Golden (image modified from Velociraptors and the golf course probably weren’t present in the Pierre seaway 70+ million years ago–before the existence of putting greens, but not the roughs or (dinosaur) fairways. June 26th is Bike to Work Day (, a good day to dust off the helmet and spandex and keep your distance from cars and velociraptors.

Richard (Dick) Keefer is a new (as of March) assistant editor for The Mountain Geologist. My experience with him as editor for the USGS Central Energy Resources Science Center is that he is a wonderful editor and great fellow who tolerates our ranting while he improves our papers (also known as offspring).

The RMAG Publications Committee is a very dynamic group that includes editors, other committee chairs and members, and RMAG staff; they oversee planning and construction of the Outcrop, The Mountain Geologist, and guidebooks and other publications. Paul Lillis, a research geochemist at the USGS, is the current committee chair. Editors of The Mountain Geologist, Outcrop, and other publications are listed near the journal covers. The publishing process is quite involved; some of this is obvious, such as requesting submittals, technical reviews, copy editing, and final layout of the papers, and encouraging authors and reviewers to follow deadlines. Other issues include understanding and updating copyright requirements, keeping Suggestions to Authors current with our evolving technology (and sometimes science), and researching options for disseminating our science.

RMAG has a couple of books and a GIS publication in progress. AAPG Studies in Geology 65, “Application of Structural Methods to Rocky Mountain Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development” is a joint RMAG/AAPG volume that will be available this year. Editors are Connie Knight, Jerry Cuzella, and Leland Cross. The planned “Oil and Gas Fields of Colorado” volume is a play-based update of 85 major oil and gas fields; Dean Dubois ( is the main contact, please contribute your expertise to a chapter on a field. The last field studies publications were a number of years ago, and I still use them in my resource assessment research. Also, nine pages from the Rocky Mountain Atlas “Big Red Book” were digitized with the resulting faults and other structures, outcrops, some contours, and igneous intrusions saved in ArcGIS shapefiles and layers; Laura Biewick ( of the USGS is the compilation editor for this planned RMAG GIS publication.

The Mountain Geologist and a number of other RMAG publications are also accessible through AAPG Datapages, which provides our research and information to a broad audience. RMAG also receives royalties when publications are purchased from Datapages. We are also investigating partnering with GeoScienceWorld (GSW) as a web-based publication provider. One of the issues with GSW is that our mostly PDF-format books and journals would need to be converted to XML or HTML5 formats (remember when we just needed to know geology terms?) by their outside contractor (not much money, but pinching pennies is good when you have many thousands of pages).

On a totally non-associated topic, at home we’ve been battling voles (pronounced evoles) that are building the equivalent of a New York subway system in the front yard. We’ve almost vanquished the enemy, with the help of some garter snakes (all named Fred) and Cooper’s Hawks (we named them Alice and Gary). In the old days we’d probably just poison the voles. Now we use mousetraps laced with organic almond butter with certified gluten-free oats and masa harina corn. I probably should just pack the traps with fat and sugar and see if the voles succumb to type 2 diabetes or heart disease.