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History of IGS

History of IGS

The Illinois Geological Society was conceived in the latter part of 1937. At that time a small group of geologist banded together to form a society which would provide a forum for new ideas and social contact. In February, 1938, a general meeting of geologists in the Illinois basin was called to organize the new Society. A committee of three men – C.J. Hares, Verner Jones and J. R. McGehee – initiated the drafting of the constitution for the new Society. The first officers of the Society, duly elected and installed in 1938, were Lynn K. Lee, President; Verner Jones, Vice President; and J. R. McGehee, Secretary and Treasurer.

The Illinois Geological Society became affiliated with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 1940.

Until 1959 the Society functioned without major changes in its constitution. By this time professional standards involving the geologic profession had become so controversial from both legal and ethical standpoints that it seemed desirable to undertake an exhaustive study of the problem. On June 30, 1960, Charles B. Bauer, the newly elected president of the Society, appointed a committee to draw up a set of professional standards for geologists in the Illinois Basin which could be used as standard operating principles for geologists as well as to improve the image of the geologic profession in the eyes of the public. The committee, in a series of monthly meetings formulated the qualifications which were later adopted into the constitution as prerequisites of a “Qualified Professional Geologist”.

The president of the Society also appointed a committee composed of Theodore C. Glass, Chairman, and Neilson Rudd to formulate a new constitution which would conform to the professional committee’s recommendations. The constitution and code of ethics were ratified by ballot of the membership in January, 1962. Amendments to the constitution were ratified by ballot of the membership in June, 1962.

The Society was incorporated as a Not for Profit Corporation in 1961.

By 1992, the State of Illinois began legislation defining a professional license for geologists and thus the need for accreditation by private societies had diminished. Thus the Society ceased awarding titles for “Qualified Professional Geologist” and the article defining their requirements for was stricken from the constitution. In addition, the constitution was also changed to allow geologists practicing within the basin but outside the state of Illinois to become full members with the ability to be officers.

Today, the Society continues to serve as a forum for the distribution of geological research and provide an avenue of professional development for geologist in the basin. The Society also sponsors field trips, hosts sectional meetings, and provides scholarships on a per need basis. Prospective members should consult the list of upcoming meetings or contact the Society or an officer via email.