VA geologists axed due to budget crunch

by Erin Wayman
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Virginia, like many states, is being hit hard by the recent economic downturn — and as Virginia tightens the purse strings, the state’s geological survey is going to feel the pinch.

Not surprisingly, geologists in Virginia are not happy.

Virginia expects a $2.5 billion budget shortfall over the next two years. To balance the budget, Virginia’s Gov. Tim Kaine plans to lay off 570 state employees, including nine employees (out of 21) from the state’s Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (Virginia’s equivalent to a state geological survey).

DGMR will also lose five more employees through transfers to different divisions or projects. According to the governor’s budget reduction plan, these layoffs will reduce the budget by more than $300,000.

The NOVA Geoblog has some thoughts on the budget cuts from William & Mary professor Chuck Bailey, who is urging Virginian residents to fight the layoffs. And Arizona’s state geologist, Lee Allison, gets an inside perspective from Virginia’s state geologist, Ed Erb.

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