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Arizona Geological Survey’s place in UArizona cemented

Representative Gail Griffin introduced HB2037 at the first regular session of the Fifty-Fifth Legislature in 2021. The primary intent of this bill was to clean up language in the state statutes that enable the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS). When the AZGS was moved back into the University of Arizona in 2016 some enabling language was changed to reflect the new management structure, but other language continued to reflect our former status as an independent state agency.

HB 2037 reinforces the position of the AZGS as a research unit situated in the UArizona, with funding provided by annual appropriation from the state general fund. The bill modifies language regarding the minimum qualifications for the State Geologist – “The state geologist shall be a graduate of an accredited institution and either registered as a geologist by the state board of technical registration or a trained geologist as defined in section 32-144 and shall be otherwise qualified by education and experience to direct the research and information functions of the Arizona geological survey.” This is consistent with the language in other statutes regarding the qualifications for conducting geologic practice in Arizona. Finally, HB 2037 repeals the requirement for sunset review of the AZGS, which was scheduled to begin later this year.

HB2037 passed the House at the end of January by a vote of 59-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 25-2 on March 18. Governor Ducey signed the bill on March 24, and it becomes law 91 days after the close of this year’s legislative session.

HB 2037 is a step forward for the AZGS as we solidify and expand our role as an applied research group in the UArizona. For additional information regarding the activities of the AZGS and for free access to all our published reports and maps, please visit

Background HB 2037. As part of HB 2037 Section 27-102, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by Laws 2016, 3 chapter 371, section 6, is repealed and Section 27-102 (2016), chapter 128 was amended. The one page amendment can be downloaded at

Phil A. Pearthree, Arizona State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey at the University of Arizona.