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Director, Kentucky Geological Survey
and Kentucky State Geologist
University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky is seeking applicants for the position of Director of the Kentucky Geological Survey; this position also carries the title of State Geologist of Kentucky. This is a senior-level administrative position in the University reporting to the Vice President for Research, who, in turn, reports to the President. It is a full-time staff appointment with a generous array of benefits.


The Director is responsible for administration of the Survey, including budgeting, personnel, research programs, productivity, and program prioritization; direct supervision of senior staff; and the professional conduct of the Survey’s activities within and outside the University of Kentucky. The Director is also responsible for KGS’s legislatively mandated programs, which include the Well Sample and Core Library, Groundwater Data Repository, Groundwater Monitoring Network, Oil and Gas Data Repository, Seismic and Strong-Motion Network, and geological investigations of the state and its mineral, fuel, and water resources and geologic hazards. Additional duties include:

Location and Facilities

The Kentucky Geological Survey is located in the Mining and Mineral Resources Building at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Its main office is in a modern facility at the center of campus shared with the Department of Mining Engineering and the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute. It is within short walking distance of the UK Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, which has strong ties to KGS. The Survey also has two satellite facilities. The Well Sample and Core Library, constructed in 1997, houses collections of rock materials for public inspection and is located about 30 minutes from campus. The Western Kentucky Office is located in Henderson, near the Ohio River.

Lexington, at the center of the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, is a beautiful and very livable city of about 300,000 persons. It’s surrounded by scenic horse farms, and has vibrant historical, cultural, and entertainment amenities.


The minimum requirements for this position are a Ph.D. and 10 years of related experience in geology or a closely related field. Candidates should meet the requirements to become a registered professional geologist in Kentucky because the State Geologist is an ex officio member of the Kentucky Board of Registration for Professional Geologists.

Applicants must have knowledge of one or more areas of geology, and a demonstrated record of success in research, grant development, and program/project administration.

The applicant must be familiar with geologic research and the requirements for personnel, facilities, equipment, and support to ensure successful research endeavors on a statewide basis.

The work for this position takes place in both office and field settings. The applicant must be able to drive and travel for field work and conferences requiring overnight stays of up to a week.

Qualities Desired

The successful applicant should have leadership skills, experience supervising and managing researchers and research projects, writing grant proposals, creating budgets, presenting results of research to scientific and professional audiences, and good communication skills to foster cooperative, open, and productive relationships with co-workers, subordinates, and superiors, outside experts, and government and industry officials. The Director should demonstrate and advocate for unbiased, science-based research and public service programs. The applicant should understand and promote the unique role of a geoscience research and public service organization located within a land-grant university setting and be committed to fostering and developing diversity within the organization.

About KGS

Originally established in 1854, the Kentucky Geological Survey has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for 161 years. During that time, only 12 state geologists have overseen the organization, a legacy of continuity in leadership. In 1992, KGS became a full administrative unit of the University of Kentucky by an act of the Kentucky General Assembly. The Survey is mandated under Kentucky Revised Statutes to conduct research into the geology, mineral and fuel resources, groundwater, and hazards of Kentucky; publish the results of this research for the benefit of the Commonwealth; and collaborate with university departments and State agencies. KGS has an advisory board consisting of 12 members nominated by the president of the university and appointed by the governor. KGS works closely with several departments and cabinets of State government and agencies of the federal government dealing with mineral resources, energy, groundwater, natural hazards, and mapping.

The Kentucky Geological Survey has a State-appropriated budget of approximately $4 million and received approximately $1 to $2 million in externally sponsored research over the past five years. KGS has a staff of 45 persons (35 in scientific and technical positions, 10 in administrative and support roles). Of the scientific staff, 10 have Ph.D. degrees, 19 have master’s degrees, and six have bachelor’s degrees. Seven of the Ph.D.’s are adjunct faculty in the UK Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and one is adjunct faculty in the Department of Geography. A number of Survey personnel serve on University, State, and federal committees, boards, and commissions. The State Geologist is an ex officio member of the Kentucky Board of Registration for Professional Geologists, as required by KRS 322A, and a permanent member of the Governor’s Geographic Information Advisory Council.

KGS also employs as many as 12 university students and supports visiting scholars from China. KGS, with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has scientific exchange agreements with four Chinese earthquake and seismology agencies: Lanzhou Institute of Seismology (Gansu Province), Fujian Earthquake Administration (Fuzhou), Institute of Engineering Mechanics (China Earthquake Administration–Harbin), and Institute of Crustal Dynamics (Beijing).

The Kentucky Geological Survey is administratively organized by research areas and service facilities reflecting the most important geoscience needs of Kentucky. The sections are Energy and Minerals, Water Resources, Geologic Hazards, Geologic Mapping, Geoscience Information Management, Communications and Outreach, and Administration. Facilities are the Rock, Fuel, and Water Laboratory; Well Sample and Core Library; and Western Kentucky Office. Along with scientific research and public service on topics of interest to Kentucky, KGS is responsible for the following State-mandated programs: Kentucky Oil and Gas Data Repository, Kentucky Seismic and Strong-Motion Network (managed jointly with the UK Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), Kentucky Groundwater Monitoring Network, and Kentucky Groundwater Data Repository.

To provide timely and comprehensive reports of progress to stakeholders, KGS manages its own publication series: Bulletins, Contract Reports, County Reports, Information Circulars, Digital Publications, Guidebooks, Geologic Maps, Information Circulars, Maps and Charts, Reports of Investigations, Reprints, Special Reports, Theses, and Open-File Reports. We maintain an onsite publication sales office, but most publications are disseminated over the Web.

KGS is a national leader in online data dissemination. The responsibility to disseminate geoscience data is carried out by providing access to databases, publications, and interactive map services via the Internet. KGS makes all of these data available free on the Web, but charges fees for special services, data requests, printing, and shipping.

Reasons to Become the Next Kentucky State Geologist

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Application Information

The application will require attaching a cover letter (Cover Letter), resume (Resume), and three professional references (Specific Request 1). The deadline for applications is 11/16/2014.

Apply Now Job Requisition number: RE00309

To apply for job # RE00309, submit a UK Online Application at If you have any questions, contact HR/Employment, phone (859) 257-9555 press 2.

Application deadline is November 16, 2014.

The University of Kentucky is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from minorities and women.

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