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M. Lee Allison (1948-2016)

Arizona State Geologist, Director of Arizona Geological Survey

2017 Inductee from Mining's Past

Arizona State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS)  Dr. M. Lee Allison received his education at the University of California, Riverside (B.A.), San Diego State University (M.S.), and the University of Massachusetts (Ph.D.). He worked in the oil industry for 15 years before transitioning to public service.

Lee was a dynamic leader of the Arizona, Kansas, and Utah Geological Surveys and made transparency and public service a cornerstone of these agencies. He helped develop the AZGS Earth Fissure program, which ensures public access to information on the location and extent of earth fissures and land subsidence, and established the AZGS online Document Repository, which offers the public free access to more than 100 years of AZGS publications and files archived by AZGS on the geology, geologic hazards, exploration potential (mineral, geothermal, oil and gas), mine operations, and mining districts of Arizona. He encouraged his staff to develop projects for the public good, e.g.,: Natural Hazards in Arizona viewer, Arizona Experience website, and the Great Arizona ShakeOut. Lee founded AZ Mining Review, the first e-video magazine in the U.S.

Lee was a true visionary, dedicated to expanding public access to the geosciences and forging cooperation among diverse groups. He marshaled the energy and resources of 48 state surveys to build the National Geothermal Data System and served on National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure, and the North American OneGeology Board of Directors. His collaborative spirit and drive to get reports, maps, and data online has assisted the mining and mineral development industry at all stages from grassroots exploration and project evaluations to environmental permitting, through to support for operations and mine closure.



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