Bureau Of Geology Welcomes New Chief

SOCORRO, N.M. April 30, 2012 – After nearly a year-long search, the N.M. Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources has found a new chief executive. New Mexico Tech President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez told the Board of Regents about the new appointment at Sunday’s meeting in Socorro.

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L. Greer Price is the new Director and State Geologist at the Bureau.  He served as interim director for the past 10 months. He has served as chief editor and deputy director during his 10 years at New Mexico Tech.

L. Greer Price, who has been serving as interim director since July 2011, has been officially named the new Director and State Geologist.

Lopez said he’s pleased to welcome Price to the top geology position in the state.

“Greer Price has done an exceptional job as interim director,” Lopez said. “His colleagues have come to believe that he’s an exceptional administrator. He’s earned the respect and support of the Bureau – scientists as well as support people.”

Price expects to retire in two years. One of his top priorities will be to see construction begin on a new building for the Bureau, which is dependent on New Mexico voters approving the funds. Lopez said he looks forward to collaborating with Price on outreach efforts with the voters of the state.

“Greer is very thoughtful and knowledgeable and a good administrator,” Lopez said. “I’m happy that he’s willing to take this job for a couple years.”

Price said he’s pleased to take the reins and is looking forward to keeping the Bureau vibrant over the next two years.

“I’m committed to this organization and our mission,” he said. “I believe strongly in what we do. I came to New Mexico Tech and the Bureau of Geology because I believe strongly in what state geological surveys do and the role we play. We serve an important purpose, and our work is important to the citizens of New Mexico.”

Price said he hopes to build on the Bureau’s already strong programs and grow some new programs. The Aquifer Mapping program received a boost in funding from the state this year – $300,000, which is a $100,000 increase. The geologic mapping program continues to be a large focus of the Bureau’s basic program. He also wants to provide continued support for the Bureau’s laboratories, which provide ample opportunities for university students to conduct research. He said he’d also like to expand the Bureau’s efforts in geothermal energy.

Price earned his bachelor’s and master’s, both in geology, from Washington University in St. Louis and was in a doctoral program at the University of Michigan. He spent six years as a petroleum industry as a geologist with Exxon and Sohio from 1978 to 1984, then spent 11 years as a writer, editor and interpretative specialist with the U.S. National Park Service.

In 1996, he became the managing editor for the Grand Canyon Association, before returning to geology in 2001. He served as senior geologist and chief editor at the Bureau from 2001 to 2005, then added associate director to his title. In 2007, then-director Dr. Peter Scholle named Price the deputy director.

“I worked closely with Peter,” Price said. “Without that experience, I don’t think I would have been prepared for the job I’m doing now.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech