Richard C. Berg has been appointed director of the Illinois State Geological Survey and the 13th Illinois state geologist. Berg has served as interim director since May 2014 and was previously the chief scientist. The survey is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the U. of I.
Richard C. Berg
Photo by Joel Dexter
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Berg received a doctorate in soil geomorphology from Illinois, a master’s degree in geomorphology from Eastern Michigan University, and a bachelor’s degree in physical geography from Indiana State University. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Berg originally moved to the Midwest to pursue his education. He began at the ISGS in 1974 as a research assistant in the stratigraphy section while pursuing his Ph.D. He has headed various survey sections over his 40-year career and became chief scientist in 2009. He has led numerous multidisciplinary groups at the ISGS and made significant contributions to the discipline through his leadership in the Geological Society of America.
“We are delighted that Dr. Berg has accepted the appointment as permanent director of ISGS,” said Brian D. Anderson, the interim executive director of the Prairie Research Institute.
“His experience with federal, state and local officials to garner support for a state and national 3-D geological mapping program also brought attention to Illinois’ mineral and energy resource, flooding, sinkhole, earthquake and climate change issues with this crucial audience,” Anderson said. “I have confidence he will continue to be strategic and forward-thinking as he leads the ISGS into an exciting future.”
“I am gratified to have the opportunity to continue my work and lead this trusted and innovative organization that has served the people of Illinois for more than 100 years,” Berg said. “I believe interdisciplinary research and service among the five surveys of the institute is key to finding solutions to the state’s natural and cultural resources issues now and in the future, as well as drawing upon expertise within the expansive natural resource and engineering disciplines at the university.”