Todd Thompson named director of Indiana Geological Survey

  • Oct. 12, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Geological Survey, which has provided the state with information on energy, mineral and water resources since 1837, will have a new director, Todd A. Thompson, effective Nov. 1.

The current director, John Steinmetz, who is also state geologist of Indiana, will step down from his post Oct. 31. He will remain on staff as state geologist emeritus and senior scientist until his retirement from Indiana University on June 30, 2016.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington, which oversees the Indiana Geological Survey, has announced that Thompson, a research scientist with the Indiana Geological Survey, will succeed Steinmetz as the director and state geologist.

Thompson received his doctorate in geology from Indiana University in 1987 and has worked at the survey for more than 25 years. He has studied many aspects of Indiana geology but is best known for his work on the physical limits and timing of lake level change in the upper Great Lakes. Most recently he has been investigating, with the National Park Service, the appearance of mysterious voids in the Mount Baldy dune on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

“Todd Thompson is a highly talented scientist, a skilled communicator and someone who possesses the research expertise necessary to lead the Indiana Geological Survey,” said Rick Van Kooten, IU Bloomington’s vice provost for research. ”I am extremely pleased that we had in our research ranks an individual with his leadership skills and research capabilities.”

During his 17-year tenure as director of the Indiana Geological Survey, Steinmetz had numerous accomplishments. Foremost among them was the initiation and continuing support of IndianaMap, which has grown to become the most comprehensive, state-based geographic information system in the nation.

“John Steinmetz has been very successful at creating an environment of research excellence and directing a dedicated and hard-working staff who are noted for providing outstanding access and dissemination of information resources and data of the highest reliability,” Van Kooten said. “He also has overseen exceptional outreach and educational programs, as well as the archiving of unique and extremely valuable samples and data resources. IGS has been well-served, and John deserves our sincere thanks and gratitude for his hard work and extreme dedication to the survey.”

“I am particularly proud of the many accomplishments of the Geological Survey’s dedicated staff,” Steinmetz said. “It has been my privilege to work with and to lead them. This institution enjoys a wonderful reputation for providing objective, timely and reliable science and information, and each staff member has contributed greatly to that reputation.”

Thompson said he welcomes the challenge of continuing to lead the 178-year-old organization into the future.

“It has been a pleasure to work with John during the past 17 years, and I look forward to building on his strong legacy as the director of the IGS and state geologist,” Thompson said.

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Todd Thompson

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John Steinmetz

John Steinmetz

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