Worldwide recognition and support for NBMG and NGL ...

As a consequence of the dire economic situation in Nevada, the Nevada System of Higher Education faces a cut of the state-funded budget of more than 30%. In order to meet the budget cut requested by the Nevada legislator, the President of UNR has proposed to cut the budget of NBMG disproportionally by more than 50%. Such a cut would take away the economic basis for NBMG to provide mandated services for Nevada. The cut would also reduce the ability of NBMG to win external grants and have a significant negative impact on the overall UNR budget and the economy of Nevada.

As a reaction to the proposed disproportional budget cut, more than 110 letters of support for NBMG were sent to the UNR President from national and international agencies, universities, and individuals. In the following, we provide selected quotes from these letters that illustrate the high recognition NBMG enjoys worldwide and the concerns that the proposed cuts will have a devastating impact on NBMG, UNR and the economy of Nevada. More quotes can be found here.

A summary of what is at stake: “Nevada absolutely must have a healthy state geological survey”

“A state like Nevada absolutely must have a healthy state geological survey; without it, who will address geologic resource and hazard issues with the State’s interests in mind? NBMG is the State of Nevada’s knowledge resource for these problems and opportunities. Federal agencies have their own perspectives and priorities, and given the importance of geologic resources and the hazards posed by earthquakes and other geologic processes, Nevada will suffer for the long‐term if it abandons these areas entirely to the Federal government. Many scientists at NBMG have built nationally or internationally respected research programs, and UNR stands to lose these people if the budget cut stands. If they are not laid off directly, you will lose people due to rapid attrition as your best scientists abandon the sinking ship for more viable and secure jobs elsewhere, taking their knowledge, research capabilities, and external funding elsewhere. What has been built over many years can be destroyed very quickly, even within a single year. I have to emphasize that you are likely to lose people off the top – your best scientists will be in demand elsewhere, if they decide they need to leave because colleagues or research group members they rely upon have lost their jobs or left, or because UNR no longer provides an attractive environment for their research.” — J. Freymueller, Geophysical Institute, U. Alaska Fairbanks (read the letter).

International Response: “Among the top five in the world today”

“Experts at the NBMG enjoy international reputation, and we consider the NBMG as important institution for both fundamental and applied research in geosciences.” — I. Moeck, D. Bruhn, International Center for Geothermal Research, GFZ, Germany (read the letter).

“This proposal will be an enormous blow to a bureau that has contributed much to State, National and International Earth sciences and will effectively reduce the unit to a mere shell of its former self.” — R. Wonnacott, Chief Directorate, National Geo-Spatial Information, South Africa (read the letter).

“The profile of the Nevada Geodetic Laboratory is such as to place it amongst the top five academic institutions in the field of geodesy in the world today.” — C. Rizos, Pres-Elect of International Association of Geodesy; Head of Surveying and Spatial Information, U. New South Wales, Australia (read the letter).

Funding Agency Response: “Unique contributions” and “world-class capabilities”

“NBMG drives research innovation that gives UNR global reach. No one, within the U.S. or elsewhere, can duplicate the unique contributions of this group. ” — M.M. Miller, President UNAVCO NSF Facility (read the letter).

“Professionally the Bureau is of the highest caliber and exemplary among state geological surveys. Although this is an outsider's view, there will be many eyes on the state and UNR assessing what happens.” — W.S. Snyder, Director, DOE-Geothermal Data Repository (read the letter).

“NBMG has developed in recent years world-class capabilities in GPS-based geodesy, earthquake modeling, and natural hazard monitoring. These capabilities have been leveraged by NASA (my organization) and other organizations to provide outstanding societal benefits on a global and national scale, as well as for the State of Nevada.” — Y. Bar-Sever, Manager NASA DGPS System (read the letter).

National Response: “Saving lives” and “Doing things industry just can’t do”

“It's simple: Continued work by NBMG geologists to locate active faults and map other potential geologic hazards will save lives.” — R. Briggs, USGS Golden (read the letter).

“The overwhelming response to our (AGU Council) surveys was that there is a desperate need for a clear connection between the scientific research and the public. NBMG provides this type of connection, and in doing so means that UNR has been one of the leaders in what is now a growing trend.” — E. Hill, American Geophysical Union Council (read the letter).

“I can say without reservation that the NBMG is the premier state geological organization in the United States. The reputation of the University and the state of Nevada are uplifted by the quality work of the NBMG.” — L. Meinert, Editor, Economic Geology (read the letter).

“ seems to me that you are planning to cut one of the most accomplished groups of scientists in your entire institution, and one that brings in brings in large amount of external funding, and therefore leverages its state funding better than the majority of units within your university.” — M. Bevis, Ohio Eminent Scholar, Ohio State U (read the letter).

“NBMG plays an indispensible role in the Nevada economy, in service to industry and to the protection of both public and private infrastructure. We're talking about a million dollars that undergirds a billion-dollar, job-rich industry. The Bureau does things that industry just can’t do.” — B. Wernicke, Chandler Family Prof. of Geology, Caltech (read the letter).

Industry Response: “There's millions in it: Thar's gold in them thar hills!”

“I have worked in the Nevada mining industry since 1983, and have realized significant benefits from the services and products provided by NBMG. NBMG-supported mapping led to the discovery of the world-class Carlin gold belt, which since the 1960s has produced over $200 billion in revenues at today’s metal prices.” — R.P. Felder, Felder Geosciences Ltd (read the letter).

“The Bureau’s scientific and educational work facilitates new geothermal development in Nevada. Their research and education efforts have stimulated new exploration and the identification of new geothermal fields, particularly in Nevada.” — P. Thomsen, President, Geothermal Energy Association (read the letter).

“NBMG plays a major role in identifying potential major earthquake hazards. Nevada has the highest number of earthquakes behind California in the continguous US. Preparedness for earthquake in Nevada will significantly reduce the number of fatalities and economic loss.” — J. Werle, Chief Geologist, Converse Consultants, Las Vegas, Nevada (read the letter).

Student and ex-Student Response: “A Potent Research Environment”

“NBMG serves as a potent research environment for topics concerning the economic development of the State of Nevada. The NBMG has made mining operations in Nevada an economic and academic example for the rest of the world. Furthermore, the NBMG has the incalculable potential for driving Nevada to become a leader in geothermal energy and in the mapping of economic mineral deposits.” — K.L Howard, graduate student, UNR; Faculty, Sierra Nevada College; Science and Math Teacher, Silver State Charter Schools (read the letter).

“My student peers have all gone on to illustrate that students trained at NBMG pursue successful and varied careers.” — E. Hill, ex-student, and Singapore National Research Foundation Fellow (read the letter).

Geological Survey Agency Peer-Response: “NBMG a Shining Star”

“The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology is one of the shining stars among all 50 state geological surveys. The NBMG at the University of Nevada at Reno and Director Jon Price have set a standard for excellence many state surveys aspire to achieve. The NBMG is looked upon by many state surveys as a model for serving industries, citizens and government the information needed to advance the state. Dr. Price and the NBMG are nationally and internationally known for their knowledge of minerals and the vital minerals industry essential to America's well being.” — J.C. Cobb, President of Association of American State Geologists (read the letter).

“NBMG scientists have an unparalleled ability to translate their research into societally meaningful results for Nevadans, results that will save lives and money. When fingers begin pointing after the next large earthquake in Nevada, please don't allow them to point toward a misplaced decision to gut this fine organization.” — R. Briggs, UNR Ph.D., USGS Golden (read the letter).