Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists
Regulations for the Geology Certification Program [18 VAC 145 ‑ 40]
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8/21/23  3:30 pm
Commenter: Geologist in Virginia

Support for mandatory licensure, continuing education requirement

I am a professional geologist and work as an economic geologist in Virginia. I am writing in favor of amending the statutes that created the certification of Geologists in Virginia to make licensure mandatory and adding a continuing education requirement for continued licensure. 

Geologists in Virginia work to better understand natural hazards, energy, mineral and water resources, and work alongside engineers on infrastructure projects. As such, some of the common tasks that we perform include.

  • Assess the environmental impact of construction or mining and develop strategies to minimize negative effects on surface and groundwater resources.
  • Produce detailed geological maps that provide valuable information about the distribution, type, and age of rocks and geological features found on the Earth's surface. These maps serve as essential tools for geologists, environmental scientists, land-use planners, and engineers among others.
  • Specialize in the study and assessment of natural hazards, through mapping, monitoring, and data collection to help advise on the impact of various natural hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and sink holes.
  • Explore and evaluate mineral deposits, helping mining companies locate and extract valuable resources like metals, minerals, and fossil fuels.
  • Work on construction projects, assessing geological conditions to ensure safe and stable building sites. 

It is vital that the individuals that serve in these roles are properly trained and have demonstrated a baseline understanding of complex geological problems. Verifying minimum competency through examination is one key role of the Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetlands Specialists, and Geologists.  Ensuring that geologic services are provided by competent geologists protects safeguards the life, health, and property of all Virginians. 

CommentID: 219580