Betty M. Adrian

Betty M. Adrian
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver

2016 Contributions to Geoinformatics Award

Presented to Betty M. Adrian

Citation by Denise J. Hills

It gives me great pleasure to present the 2016 GSA Geoinformatics Division Outstanding Contributions in Geoinformatics Award to Ms. Betty M. Adrian, who is widely known for her long and superb service to advance the field of geoinformatics through her work at the U.S. Geological Survey. A tireless advocate for data rescue and preservation. Betty has provided leadership and vision to program planning, review, analysis, coordination, and monitoring of USGS activities related to information science, geoinformatics, USGS geology research, data management, and preservation of scientific data and materials. Her vision and leadership have been key to the success of such programs as the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) and USGS’s Geological Collections Management System (GCMS).

Betty’s work has greatly improved the state of geologic sample repositories. Her tireless efforts to establish uniform collection management practices across USGS will continue to inform and benefit the USGS and other scientists seeking USGS scientific collections and data, while her example serves as a model for geologic collections outside the USGS. For example, her work has enabled state geologic surveys to provide better access to their data and samples, which has in turn promoted academic research and industry development. Betty is generous in sharing her knowledge, skills, and time with us to become better geoscientists. Her work extends beyond USGS, and her expertise has been called upon in many projects and efforts. Betty is a leader, building a strong community around geoscience data preservation, and I am lucky to be one of many who have benefitted from her experiences. Her warmth and humor bely the difficulties we often encounter with data preservation efforts, and her compassion makes those burdens easier to lift. I can think of no one who deserves this honor more, and am proud to present her with the Outstanding Contributions in Geoinformatics Award of the Geological Society of America.

top2016 Contributions to Geoinformatics Award — Response by Betty M. Adrian

I am humbled and honored to receive the 2016 GSA Geoinformatics Division Outstanding Contributions in Geoinformatics Award. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the collaboration of many individuals from the federal and state governments, academia, and private industry.

My desire to work in geoinformatics began early in my 38-year career with the U.S. Geological Survey. As a bench chemist in the 1980s, I generated hundreds of thousands of analytical data points. As I moved into management, I began to think about the value of making these and other analytical data, generated by my USGS team, available to the public. This was the beginning of my quest to help make a wealth of information available to interested parties. I was already thinking about “geoinformatics” at that time, I just didn’t know there was a formal name for it.

As I advanced into other USGS management positions, I became much more involved with geoinformatics. In 2007, I chaired the USGS Geologic Materials Repository Working Group that researched and developed the USGS Geologic Collections Management System (GCMS). The result of this collaborative effort was the publication GCMS Circular 1410 in 2015. This publication was made possible as a result of working with USGS scientists, collections managers, and federal and state agencies to include Linda Gundersen, Tammy Dickinson, Kevin Gallagher, Bruce Wardlaw, Brian Buczkowski, Justin Hagerty, Jill Schneider, Steve Smith, and many others.

My involvement in geoinformatics has come a long way since the 1980s. There is still much more to do, many questions that need to be answered, and processes to be developed. By working together, sharing ideas, and collaborating on important and interesting science endeavors, the field of geoinformatics will continue to advance. I have been blessed and am so honored to work with so many great people in the field of geoinformatics. Thanks for all of the opportunities!