Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Rich Ortt to serve as President of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), 2019-2020

July 2, 2019

Maryland Geological Survey Director, Richard Ortt, Jr.

Richard Allen Ortt, Jr., Director of the Maryland Geological Survey, will serve as the President of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) for 2019 - 2020

The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) is an organization of the chief executives of the state geological surveys in 50 states and Puerto Rico. The responsibilities of the various state surveys differ from state to state, depending upon the enabling legislation and the traditions under which the survey evolved. Almost all function as a basic information source for their state governments' executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Some have regulatory responsibilities for water, oil and gas, land reclamation, etc.

The first state survey was established in 1823 in North Carolina. By 1840, there were at least 15 state surveys, most of which were charged with the discovery of mineral, energy, land, and water resources in their state or territory. The State Geologists began formal meetings with the U.S. Geological Survey 1879, the year that organization was established. Since 1908, the Association has met regularly to discuss issues of common interest and to initiate united actions when warranted.

Rich has been with the Maryland Geological Survey since 1992, where he has worked on a diverse set of geologic engineering issues including those related to sediment erosion, transport, deposition and accumulation in reservoirs and shipping channels. He advanced the use of remote sensing and unattended monitoring devices to collect data for both management activities and scientific study, and directed the acquisition, installation and maintenance of Maryland’s only seismograph for monitoring earthquakes. He was appointed Director of the Survey in 2013.

Rich holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife Janine live in Harford County with their four children Sarah, Madeleine, James and Christopher.