Dear SMAC Members and solicited new SMAC members,

Hope all is well with everyone. I want to thank everyone’s continued support of our state’s geologic mapping activities as well as introduce or program to the prospective new committee members attached in this e-mail. If you are receiving this invitation for the first time, congratulations on your nomination to the committee! Attached is a brief description of the program you have been nominated to and thank you in advance for your service to the Committee.

“The primary objective of the STATEMAP component of the NCGMP (National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program) is to establish the geologic framework of areas determined to be vital to the economic, social, or scientific welfare of individual States. STATEMAP mapping priorities are established by State Geological Surveys in consultation with a multi-representational State Mapping Advisory Committee. These priorities are based on a) State requirements for geologic map information in areas of multiple-issue need or areas of compelling single-issue need, and b) State requirements for geologic map information in areas where the mapping is required to solve critical earth-science problems. In recent years, STATEMAP efforts have focused primarily on geologic maps that address land-use, water resources, aggregate and mineral resources, oil and gas, and natural hazards issues.” —-USGS

This has been an unprecedented year for Mississippi’s StateMap activities, both positive and challenging. We have successfully completed our mapping for last year’s grant obligations well before the July 1st deadline, despite the challenges, this year has presented, and are in the process of final edits of our final mapping products for publication. We were also funded for two of the three projects we presented and were endorsed during last year’s advisory committee meeting where typically we only receive enough funding for one project. We are successfully well into our field season despite the significant limitations this year has provided. Because of the problems that will inevitably be encountered during this grant year, the USGS is offering maximum flexibility with this year’s program. This will only be limited to unfunded extensions, up to one year for deliverables. We have promised quite a bit more than normal with the two current projects and at this point, I don’t foresee the need to utilize that graciously offered flexibility. With that said, I also don’t want to get our program in a position where we find ourselves over-extended by adding vast new areas for mapping. I have discussed with my research staff and have decided to propose just a single project as the best way to balance this and still serve the important mapping needs of the program. As we were endorsed by the advisory committee for all three projects and only funded for two, our thoughts were to just add back the third project for this next proposal the committee will be voting on. We are funded right now for the three 7.5 min. quadrangles in Yazoo County and 1:100,000 scale North Delta mapping projects and we are asking for guidance and a re-endorsement from the committee to proposing adding back the three 7.5 min. quadrangle maps in the Jefferson County project which the committee had previously endorsed. This would complete the first county geologic map of the area.

We are still awaiting the USGS’s program announcement for the requirements for this next year’s proposals, which should open later this month (depending on Congress) and close sometime in late December. The StateMap advisory committee meeting is a requirement for the proposals to this grant program and they are giving us flexibility into how that is met. In place of a traditional in-person meeting, my plans are to upload a link to a presentation that includes portions of last year's PowerPoint presentation to introduce the proposed project and to re-familiarize the committee with the ongoing projects. This will allow the committee to view at their own convenience. Additionally, there will be links provided to the publications of last year’s StateMap funded projects for the committee to review. Sometime later this month our committee Chairman, Steve Walkenshaw will set up a brief zoom meeting with everyone to discuss the proposals with the committee along with conducting the required vote and any other business including EdMap project updates/proposals. Those that can’t make the zoom meeting will be solicited independently to offer maximum participation in the process. Also, I ask if you could please respond to me with a short reply offering your willingness to participate in this year’s committee.

Again, I hope everyone is well, and thank you in advance for your valuable participation in this essential program. If you are receiving this invitation for the first time and need some additional information on our state’s program, please feel free to e-mail me or contact me on my cell 601-750-1654.

---James E. Starnes, RPG
Director, Surface Geology/Surface Mapping Program

Author(s): Mississippi Geological Survey
Year: 2020
Physical Copy: Not Available