Since 1910, the Colorado Geological Survey has brought the best of Colorado geoscience to you, our public constituency
History of the CGS
Much of the CGS website is under heavy re-construction and will be for some time. The Publications area is working normally, but there is a lot of content from our original site that was in desperate need of updating. Please bear with us as we gather new information and rewrite hundreds of pages of material, gather and properly caption high-resolution images and otherwise bring you some very cool new and archival material never before seen! Stay in touch by subscribing to the >RockTalk< blog where we will announce new items periodically.
The most current incarnation of the CGS came into existence in the mid-1960s.
- 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 (CAIC) 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.
We are now located in the Moly Building on the west side of the campus of the Colorado School of Mines, with around fifteen geoscience and support staff.
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 extensive history of the CGS see:
Rold, J. W., and S. D. Schwochow. IS-27 History of The Colorado Geological Survey (1872-1988). Information Series, IS-27. Denver, CO: Colorado Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, 1989.
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.
Historical articles about the Colorado Geological Survey:
Not much is know about the reasons that the Survey disappeared for more than forty years between the 1920s and the 1960s when the Colorado Legislature reinstated the organization with a new remit.
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