What We Do

A man wearing a helmet and kneeling, documents abandoned mine features.
Energy and Minerals. Documenting abandoned mine features Coronado National Memorial, Arizona.

The Geologic Resources Division coordinates and helps parks address three distinct types of geologic resources that each have unique management considerations.

Core Program Areas

Energy and Minerals

Energy and Minerals operations exist inside and adjacent to National Park System units. Operators exercise rights to conventional and renewable energy and mineral resources such as coal, oil and gas, uranium, precious metals, sand and gravel, solar, wind, and geothermal. Historic mining and mineral activities impact park resources and are potential hazards to park staff and visitors. The Division's Energy and Minerals Program is the lead NPS program office in assisting park managers and staff with Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy, external and internal mineral exploration and development, and Abandoned Mineral Lands (AML) reclamation projects.

Active Processes and Geohazards

Active Processes and Hazards are found everywhere landscape change takes place, such as coasts, rivers, volcanoes, canyons, hillslopes and soils, and include such processes as sea level rise, erosion, sedimentation, landslides, rockfall, earthquakes, and tsunamis. All of these can impact natural and cultural resources and infrastructure. The division currently maintains staff expertise in Geohazards and geomorphology, and Coastal Geology.

Geoheritage Resources

Geoheritage Resources are the noteworthy features such as volcanoes, geothermal features, glaciers, caves & karst, fossils, arches, canyons, and dunes which contribute to park landscapes and ecosystems. These features provide opportunities for public education and recreation. The division currently maintains staff expertise in Paleontology, Caves and Karst, and Geology; and works with parks and partners in preserving America's Geoheritage.

Last updated: December 3, 2021