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Illinois State Geologist

Richard C. BergThe role of Illinois State Geologist was established by Illinois statute to serves as the state's authoritative voice on matters of geoscience, representing Illinois with the Association of American State Geologists and providing timely, objective geoscience information to scientists, industry, policymakers, and the public.

Illinois State Geologist Richard C. Berg is also the director of the Illinois State Geological Survey, where he has worked since 1974. His scientific specialties are Quaternary geology, aquifer sensitivity assessment, and three-dimensional geological mapping. He has worked extensively with government officials at the local, state, and federal levels to promote a better understanding of the complexities of the subsurface as it applies to balancing economic development decision making with wise water and mineral resource use and environmental protection.

If you have a geoscience/geology question, or have a specimen of a rock, mineral, or fossil that you'd like to share, Ask the State Geologist!

blog posts

  • The value of ISGS geological data

    The physical samples, logs, and maps that have been collected by the Illinois State Geological Survey since the early 1850s are critical to researching and mapping the complexities of Illinois’ surface and subsurface geology. 

  • The Illinois Basin: the geologic gift that keeps giving 

    The Illinois Basin holds a wealth of resources, including groundwater, coal, oil and gas, industrial minerals, and metals and also has become increasingly valuable as a resource to mitigate climate change by storing carbon dioxide deep underground. It is truly a geological gift that keeps on giving!

  • Megafloods, megaquakes, and more unusual Illinois geology facts

  • The highs and lows of Illinois: Where do we rank among the states and why?

  • The science of geological mapping

  • Critical minerals, national security, industry’s gadgets, and everybody’s necessities 

  • Geology and infrastructure

  • What is the Illinois State Geological Survey?

  • ISGS scientist collects sample that appears to be oldest fossilized fungus

  • ISGS geologists participate in remapping the receding margins of the Laurentide Ice Sheet