Welcome to the Southwest Alabama Geological Society's Website

The Southwest Section of the Alabama Geological Society (SWAGS) formed in February of 2001 to foster a network of geologists in the coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. SWAGS meetings and events are recognized for continuing education credits by the Alabama Board of Licensure of Professional Geologists. Meetings begin with a short business meeting followed by a speaker. If you have an interest in giving a talk on a geology related project you have been or are involved with, please e-mail us with details. Annual dues are $15.

December 13, 2016

Our next meeting will be January 18, 2017 at the Original Oyster House at 7PM.  Information on the February 11th field trip will be available.  The presentation by Dan O'Donnell is entitled "Aquifer". 

April 16, 2014

Our next meeting is April 16th at 7PM in the Pilot Room of the Original Oyster House on Mobile's causeway. At this meeting, Mike Markey will give a presentation on deep injection of gypsum wastewater and reclaimed water at Gulf Power's Penscaola Facility using two injection wells in the Lower Floridan to make our gypsum system a zero discharge facility to waters of the State of Florida.

January 25, 2014

Wetumpka Impact Crater Field Trip. This field trip was led by Dr. David King, Jr of Auburn University and coordinated by Tom Powers, Bowhead, and Marilee Tankersley, Wetumpka Impact Crater Commission. Dr. King began with a brief review of the circumstances surrounding the event that resulted in the impact crater then led us into the field to examine evidence of the impact. From the crystaline rim rocks to the in-washed sediments of the Eutaw and Tuscaloosa in the crater's interior, we were provided with the hands on evidence of this unique geologic feature in central Alabama.

January 15, 2014

Quarterly SWAGS meeting. Lauren Petty, Geosyntec Consultants, gave a presentation on conceptual site model development through high resolution sampling techniques at Kennedy Space Flight Center. The sampling data was incorparated into a 3-d modeling system.

October 16, 2013

Quarterly SWAGS Meeting. John Barksdale, Barksdale & Associates, gave a presentation on his work involving a vapor survey assessment at Brookley Field. John explained the process used in the survey, the problems encountered along with their work arounds and the results of the survey.

July 13, 2013

SWAGS Reformation meeting. This meeting brough together coasta geologist from Florida and Alabama intent on re-organizing the Sothwest Section of the Alabama Geological Society. This meeting was held at The Original Oyster House on Mobile Bay's causeway. Conditions were favorable for proceeding with the effort. Dan O'Donnell, O'Donnell & Associates, Inc. spearhead the effort aand was "elected" President. Tonight's spreaker was Charlie Hellenbush. Charles gave a presentation on the volunteer precipitation monitoring program COCORAHS and how you can join in this nationwide program for as little as the cost of a rain gauge.

Older News and Events:

August 10, 2010 - USCG Deepwater Horizon Presentation

Our August meeting will include a social from 6:30-7 PM with light refreshments. The meeting will begin at 7PM with a presentation from the United States Coast Guard on their response to British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Location details are: LSCB 337, University of South Alabama Campus; Cost: Free to members and students $5.00 to non members; CEU/PAH Credit: 1 hour

January 19, 2010

At our January meeting, we will elect officers, discuss dues for the 2010 year and have a presentation by Lee Beasley. Lee's presentation begins at 7PM in the life Science building on the campus of the University of South Alabama. His topic is "Hydrology and water chemistry controls on mercury bioaccumulation in coastal Alabama watersheds". The business meeting begins at 6:30 PM. Bring a fellow geologist and obtain one pdh credit.

November 17, 2009

SWAGS met at 7PM in Room 337 of the Life Sciences Building at the University of South Alabama. The future of SWAGS was discussed among those present. It was decided that a recruitment campaign would be initiated with PGs in the Gulf Coast area contacted and encouraged to attend the January 19, 2010 meeting. Officers will be elected at that meeting to guide the group for the coming two years. If you are interested in keeping a professional geologic society alive and well in the Mobile area, please plan on attending the January meeting. If you are not on our e-mail contact list, please contact us.

Following the business meeting, Dan O'Donnell, O'Donnell & Associates, Inc, gave a presentation on the effect of Tropical Storm Ida on groundwater in a shallow aquifer. Dan also introduced COCORAHS (cocorahs.org) the voluntary program to monitor precipitation across the USA and how this information can be used in groundwater projects.

July 14, 2009

On July 14th, six members of SWAGS attended a field trip to tour PowerSouth's compressed air storage facility in McIntosh, Alabama, see photo below. The tour was directed by Lee Davis, plant manager, and was photo-documented by Ruth Davis, a summer intern. The McIntosh facility is one of two compressed air storage facilities in the world. During off peak electric times air is pumped into a 250+ foot diameter by 1000+ foot long solution mined cavern in the McIntosh salt dome. During times of peak electric demand, the compressed air is released from the cavern turning turbines that generate electric power. SWAGS thanks Lee and Ruth for their time and the opportunity to tour this unique power generating facility.

June 16, 2009 - Forensic Geology Applications: "Unearthing" Lies, Culprits and Causes!!

Dr. Wayne C. Isphording, Professor Emeritus of Geology, University of South Alabama, will present the subject talk to SWAGS members and all interested visitors to the USA Library Auditorium. The evening starts at 6:30 PM on Tuesday June 16th with a reception during the evening's activities. PDH credit for attendance is available for Alabama registered geologists.

November 18, 2008

The November 18th meeting featured a talk by Mr. Patrick B. Bourne entitled "Marine Sediments Collection and Analysis Laboratory". Bourne is employed at the Geotechnical Analysis Division, Naval Oceanographic Office at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The presentation illustrated the work of the GAD and how geologists working with other scientists analyze and evaluate sub-sea sediments for a peace and war time purposes.

August 19, 2008

The August 19th meeting of SWAGS featured a short presentation by Dan O'Donnell on the work he is involved with and how his petroleum exploration background works well with the groundwater exploration, development and management services his firm OAI provides. Later, Mr. Sam Stutsman, instructor at USA's GIS Center, gave a presentation entitled "Local Availability of GIS Resources for Precutting Geoscientists". After the talk, Sam gave a tour of the USA's GIS Center and showed some beneficial applications readily available GIS data.

May 20, 2008 - SWAGS/OAI Field Methods Mini-Camp

OAI will host a field methods mini-camp from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Gulf Coast Groundwater Research Center (2768 Barksdale Drive North, Mobile Alabama). The program will include surveying, water level surveying, potentiometric surface map preparation, critique with discussion and a grillout (see below for last year's grill master). The Alabama and Mississippi Boards of Professional Geologist have authorized 3 PDH credits for those attending (please check with other states for their PDH credit policy). Cost for this program is $15 for SWAG/AGS members and $25 for non-SWAGS/AGS members. Registration at the door will be $40. Attendance will be limited to 25, so please complete and send in your registration form with the appropriate fee early to secure your place in this program. Make checks payable to SWAGS.

January 15, 2008 - Jim Connors

This was a well attended meeting to kick-off the new year. The business meeting focused on how to improve meetings and attendance. A committee was set up to schedule speakers and it was voted on to increase meetings to every other month. We will work to have a combination of speakers, field activities and will work to coordinate USA Geology field trips with SWAGS piggy backing.

With the business handled, Jim went on and gave an informative presentation on the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs. These two programs work to advance opportunities for small business by working with a research group like that at USA. For additional information, check out www.sbir.gov.

October 16, 2007 - Elections

On October 16, 2007 a new slate of officers was elected to govern SWAGS for the coming year. Newly elected officers include: Jim Connors, President, Patrick Hallet, Vice President, Tom Powers, Secretary and Doug Haywick, Treasurer. Please support these new officers by becoming involved in this local geological society.

April 17, 2007

David Allison will give a presentation at USA's Life Science Building room 119 after short business meeting beginning at 7PM. Social starts at 6:30 PM. PDH/CEU are available for this and all SWAGS meetings.

Presentation topic: Constraints on southern Appalachian tectonic evolution generated by recent northern Alabama Piedmont mapping and analysis.

January 16, 2007

Speaker/topic: Steve Carey/Caves and Karst of the Gulf Coast Lower Coastal Plain. Meeting at USA's Life Sciences Building; Social at 6:30 with meeting at 7.

Mr. Steve Carey, an associate professor of biology at the University of Mobile, gave a well received presentation on caves and karst landforms in southwest Alabama. Steve walked us through a presentation that began at the mouth of several caves he has studied and ended in some of the more remote regions of these same caves. Interpersed with the wonderful photography, he relayed stories of cave flora and fauna and local cave lore.

Most of the caves are formed in the Vicksburg Group with others found in the Bashi marl within a belt stretching from Waynesboro, Mississippi to Marianna, Florida. Steve welcomed questions and there was plenty of "cave" stoies to go around. Steve indicated he would be able to give a presentation at a later date on volcanoes, another favor subject of his. Judging from the quality of his Caves presentation, we'll have him back.

Thanks again Steve...dod

October 17, 2006 - Elections

Mr. Ralph Hellmich of the State Oil & Gas Board was our speaker for this evening. Ralp spoke on the Little Cedar Creek Smackover play, the Devonian Tight Shale Play and other topics of interest.

Officers for the coming year are: Dan O'Donnell, President; Brent Rogers, Vice President, Tom Powers, Secretary and Doug Haywick, Treasurer.

AGS's 41st Annual Field Trip Write-up

In case you missed the AGS's 2004 field trip, Scott Brande brings it to life in words. Scott's write up of the Alabama Geological Society's 41st Annual Field Trip as originally published in the AGS's Newsletter (Volume 18, Number 1) can be found here. Special thanks to both Scott and Phillip Henderson Editor of the Newsletter for permission to post the write-up. On behalf of SWAGS, we hope you enjoy it.