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Bureau Honors Bingaman, Simon With Annual Award

Former Senator Receives Earth Science Award

Senator Jeff Bingaman and Dr. Bob Simon Receive 2018 Earth Science Achievement Awards

Wednesday, February 7

SOCORRO, N.M. – The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (a research division of New Mexico Tech) presented the 2018 Earth Science Achievement Award jointly to Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Dr. Bob Simon on Monday, Feb. 5, in Santa Fe. 

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Dr. Nelia Dunbar with the 2018 Earth Science Achievement Award winners Bob Simon (center) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

 

Bingaman served in the Senate for 23 years. Simon has played a key role as a science advisor in Washington, D.C., including time working in Bingaman’s office. The award recognizes for “outstanding contributions advancing the role of earth science in areas of public service and public policy.”

Director of the Bureau of Geology Dr. Nelia Dunbar presented the awards to a packed audience in the rotunda of the Roundhouse. She praised Bingaman and Simon for their lifetime achievements as champions of natural resource issues and conservation in New Mexico and beyond. 

The awards were presented in conjunction with New Mexico Tech Day at the Roundhouse. Academic Departments and research divisions hosetd booths in the Roundhouse. The displays included demonstrations by the Chemical Engineering Department and Computer Science and Engineering.

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Sen. Jeff Bingaman

 

 

Dr. Bob Simon

 

 

The Earth Science Achievement awards were initiated in 2003 to honor outstanding public servants who have championed earth science issues in New Mexico. Sen. Bingaman and Dr. Simon consistently supported the fundamental concept that basic scientific knowledge is essential in order to solve our state’s complex resource and environmental issues. The records of both men show an understanding of the importance of water supply and water quality issues and a respect for responsible resource development and environmental preservation of areas of special value and interest. They also understand that scientific knowledge is the foundation for the wise management of our nation’s lands and its resources.

Their combined efforts, along with other committee and Bingaman staff members, helped to enact a number of important pieces of geoscience-focused legislation, including ones supporting national geological mapping, archiving valuable geological data, studying the high plains aquifer, and forming an institute in New Mexico to study caves and karst geology.

These efforts also led to designation of geologic parks, such as the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Sen. Bingaman and Dr. Simon’s records show respect for responsible resource development and environmental preservation of areas of special value and interest, and also an understanding that scientific knowledge is essential for the wise management of our nation’s lands and its resources.

Jeff Bingaman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1982, where he served until his retirement in 2013. For many years, Senator Bingaman served as either the chairman or the ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he championed significant earth science legislation for New Mexico and for the nation.

Dr. Bob Simon began working in the Senate in 1993 as a Science Fellow on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he served for three years. In 1997, he became Science and Technology advisor in Jeff Bingaman’s office and served as his chief energy legislative assistant. In 1999, Bingaman appointed Simon to the position of Democratic staff director for the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he served as the committee staff director when Senator Bingaman was chairman. After Bingaman’s retirement, Dr. Simon moved to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he worked on energy, climate, and resource issues until his retirement in 2016.

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources is a non-regulatory research and service division of New Mexico Tech in Socorro. For 91 years, the bureau has served as the geological survey for the state of New Mexico. Nominations for next year’s awards are welcome from the general public and may be made directly to the director of the Bureau of Geology.