Wyoming State Geological Survey
Ronald C. Surdam
Director/State Geologist
Wyoming State Geological Survey
P.O. Box 1347
Laramie, WY 82073



Contact Information

Robert Waggener
Editor in Chief

307-766-2286, ext. 255

News Release July 7, 2010

Wallace Ulrich appointed acting state geologist

Gov. Dave Freudenthal on July 6 named Wallace Ulrich acting state geologist. Ulrich will lead the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS).

He succeeds Ron Surdam, who is now directing the Carbon Management Institute at the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources.

“I am delighted that an individual of Wally’s stature and experience is willing to step into this extremely important role of public service as the acting state geologist,” Freudenthal said. “Having strong leadership at the survey is important because it is often the first place professionals go to understand the geological resources of the state, and that can lead to exploration and ultimately to development.”

The governor praised the work of Surdam, who was appointed director of the WSGS in 2004.

"I congratulate Ron. I am delighted he will remain in the service of the state. He has been and will continue to be a great asset in maintaining a fully diversified energy economy,” Freudenthal said.

Ulrich, a fifth generation Wyomingite who lives in Fossil and Jackson with his wife, Lisa Samford, and son, Aiden, starts his new job Aug. 2.

Since 1947, Ulrich and his parents, Shirley and Carl Ulrich, have operated the fossil quarries near Kemmerer. His family was instrumental in creating Fossil Butte National Monument west of Kemmerer.

Ulrich is a past chairman and present member of the WSGS advisory board, a trustee of the American Geological Institute Foundation, the chairman of the board of the National Foundation for the Geosciences and the secretary and one of the founders of the Geologists of Jackson Hole.

“I’m just tickled to carry on the great work of Dr. Surdam,” Ulrich said. “He and the governor made great strides in bringing the Wyoming State Geological Survey to where it is, and I hope to continue those efforts. The survey performs remarkably well with a highly dedicated staff that provides excellent services.”

Ulrich added, “The survey has a responsibility to provide the governor, the legislature, Wyoming policymakers and citizens real science for governance decisions, including future projects, research funding and providing services and data.”

Freudenthal said, “Wally’s commitment and passion about geology in Wyoming will serve us all well. I couldn’t be happier about getting Wally on board.”

The mission of the WSGS is to promote the beneficial and environmentally sound use of Wyoming’s vast geologic, mineral and energy resources while helping protect the public from geologic hazards. By providing accurate information and expanding knowledge through the application of geologic principles, the WSGS contributes to economic growth and improvement in the quality of life for Wyoming’s residents.