Until 1907, Colorado had no state geological survey, but a series of geologists held the position of Territorial Geologist, a part-time unpaid position. The Colorado Geological Survey was established by the Legislature in 1907, along with the position of State Geologist who was also the Director of the survey. The first geological survey mysteriously went out of existence sometime during, or after, 1925. The Colorado Geological Survey was re-established in 1967 and continues to provide sound science and service to the citizens of Colorado. For a more complete history of the the Colorado Geological Survey from 1872 though 1988, click here.

Significant Events in the History of the Colorado Geological Survey
  • 1907 Legislature creates the Colorado Geological Survey and appoints the State Geologist to direct it at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • 1909  Colorado Geological Survey publishes first geological map and report.
  • 1925 Colorado Geological Survey mysteriously goes out of existence after publishing 31 Bulletins on various aspects of the geology and mineral resources (including oil shale) of Colorado.
  • 1967 The legislature re-creates the Colorado Geological Survey within the newly formed Department of Natural Resources.
  • 1969 The Colorado Geological Survey becomes operational.
  • 1987 The Colorado Avalanche Information Center becomes part of the Colorado Geological Survey.
  • 1992 The Colorado Geological Survey is placed under the newly formed Division of Minerals and Geology, a regulatory agency.
  • 2005 The legislature re-establishes the Colorado Geological Survey as a separate Division in the Department of Natural Resources.
  • 2013 CGS is transferred to the Colorado School of Mines.
Historical articles about the Colorado Geological Survey:

Concerns about the new survey, 1907

Praise for the new survey, 1909


State and Territorial Geologists
1874 – 1883        J. Alden Smith
1883 – 1885        Ernest Le Neve Foster
1885 – 1887        J. Alden Smith
1887 – 1889        F. G. Bulkley
1889 – 1895        George E. Kedzie
1895 – 1901        Thomas A. Rickard
1901 – 1906        John Wellington Finch
1906 – 1907        B. S. Langridge
State Geologists and Directors
1908 – 1926        Russell D. George
1969 – 1993        John W. Rold
1993 – 2003        Vicki J. Cowart
2004 – 2012        Vincent Matthews III
2013 – 2014        Karen Berry (interim)
2014 – present    Karen Berry
Directors, Past and Present
L to R: Vince Matthews, Vicki Cowart, John RoldRussell George. State Geologist of Colorado 1908 to 1926.  Russell George