Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey (LGS) and State Geologist

Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Feb 22, 2021
Mar 24, 2021
Career Level
Education Level
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

The Office of Research and Economic Development at Louisiana State University invites applications for the position of Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey (LGS) and State Geologist. The LGS is recognized for its 150-year history of excellence in documentation and analysis of geological features, resources, and processes that impact and benefit Louisiana.  The individual selected for this appointment will guide existing programs in applied geosciences; build new programs that support stewardship and development of the State’s natural resources; and provide the State and its citizens with geological information relevant to economic resources, environmental protection, and natural hazards. The Director will position LGS in a leadership role in such areas as coastal processes critical to the State’s economy and environment; innovative approaches to natural resources: geothermal energy, oil, coal, & natural gas, raw materials, water, coastal systems;  and new opportunities such as carbon capture, storage and utilization. The Director will expand upon LGS’s current strengths in geological mapping, water resources, GIS and cartography, and shallow crust geophysics. The Director will hold the rank of Professor-Research (non-tenure track) and will collaborate with existing geoscience-focused research programs at LSU.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

Direct and supervise LGS Staff. Review, update, and implement research and administrative policies, activities, and budgets carried out by faculty, research staff, and support personnel. Facilitate the development of intellectual property that can be used to generate supplemental funding for LGS. Establish and implement program priorities consistent with the LGS mission. (30%)

Develop and promote innovative geosciences programs and activities that attract external funding. Publish LGS bulletins, maps, reports, and articles in peer-reviewed journals, consistent with the LGS mission. Present research at academic and professional meetings and conferences on current topics in geology, energy, environmental sciences, and geo-engineering. Speak to civic and business groups. Interact with local, regional, and national media. Pursue collaborative activities with faculty within and outside of LSU. (30%)

Lead development and support of surface and subsurface surveys of the State of Louisiana. Work in cooperation with other state entities and other political subdivisions as appropriate per LA Rev Stat § 17:1492 (2019). (30%)

Lead, develop, and foster programs for collaboration, training, and research with other LSU units that have aligned research and training priorities. These units include the LSU Center for Energy Studies, Coastal Studies Institute, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Department of Petroleum Engineering, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  (10%)


Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in Earth Science or a related field and a minimum of 12 years of experience post-PhD in either an academic or other professional research setting and three (3) years supervisory experience. Prior supervisory experience in a State Geological Survey or comparable government agency is preferred. Prior experience in at least two of the following fields of study is also preferred: water resources, fluvial geomorphology and engineering, coastal geosciences, carbon sequestration, petroleum basin geology, Cenozoic geology, geodesy, or engineering geosciences.

In addition to the above stated qualifications, the following characteristics are important for the LGS Director position:

  • Communication and intrapersonal skills necessary for effective functioning of the LGS and its interactions within and outside LSU. 
  • Interest and abilities in making the results of Earth Science research useful and available to governments, NGOs, and informed citizens.
  • Willingness to commit the effort to grow LGS and align new and existing programs with Louisiana’s economic needs and proper stewardship of its environment and natural resources.

Questions regarding the job position can be sent to Dr. Kevin Xu (, Chair of the Search Committee.

About the State Geologist and LGS

The position of State Geologist of Louisiana was established in 1870, and the present Louisiana Geological Survey was established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1934. The mission of the Survey is to develop, interpret, and provide information about Louisiana geology and its relationship to mineral, water, energy, and environmental resources.  LGS has long been respected for documentation and study of geological relationships in the complex interface among marine coastal, deltaic, and alluvial basin systems active from the opening of the Gulf of Mexico to the present.  A parallel legacy has been the Survey’s research into the tectonic and depositional evolution of Cenozoic siliciclastic basins and the concomitant generation of hydrocarbons in one of the most productive oil, gas, & coal provinces of the North American continent.   In recent decades LGS has expanded its focus to include documentation and analysis of the State’s hydrologic and geo-environmental systems and their importance, in terms of both natural wealth and hazards, to economic and population expansion.

LGS staff include nine full time and two part-time employees. The Survey maintains mission-relevant technologies for research in petrology, petrography, litho- and biostratigraphy, water chemistry and hydrology, and near-surface geophysics.  Data resources include a large repository of well logs & production information as well as drill cores & cuttings from historically productive plays.  The LGS GIS/Cartographic section is highly regarded for its award winning maps and posters of geological, environmental, geographical, and geo-political subjects.  LGS maintains an active catalogue of publications in digital and paper format accessible to professional geo-scientists, policy makers, secondary educators, and the general public; it is currently housed in the LSU Energy, Coast, and Environment building, just south of Tiger Stadium. Find more information at:

Louisiana State University is an exceptional university committed to serving its state, the nation, and the world through education, research, and public service. Located in one of America’s most beautiful and unique locations on the Gulf Coast, LSU is a well-situated community of scholars and professionals committed to opportunity without restrictions that are based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.


About the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development

The LSU Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) supports the scholarly and research enterprise of LSU faculty, staff, and students. ORED also provides support to the undergraduate and graduate student learning experience. ORED research administration is supported by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization (ITC) which both report directly to ORED. Many of LSU’s research centers and institutes are administered through ORED, including our Center for Computation and Technology, the LSU Shared Instrument Facility, and the Center for Applied Microstructures and Devices, which is a synchrotron light source that is owned and operated by LSU.


About LSU

LSU serves the people of Louisiana, the region, the nation, and the world through extensive, multipurpose programs encompassing instruction, research, and public service. The University brings in more than $150 million annually in outside research grants and contracts, a significant factor for the Louisiana economy. LSU represents the largest institution of higher education in the state of Louisiana and is the only public university in the state to be designated a Carnegie Research University with Very High Research Activity. Among a handful of distinguished universities to enjoy land, sea, and space grant status, LSU offers vital research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students as it transforms new technology into enterprise and lends expertise to solving endemic problems. Among institutions of higher education, LSU is uniquely situated to provide a rich educational experience. The University boasts record breaking numbers of high achieving freshman students from underrepresented minorities indicating our commitment to diversity. The University’s success as the Flagship campus has been attained not only by harnessing the intellectual capital of its faculty and students, but also by exploiting the geographic and cultural capital found only in Louisiana. The University is guided by LSU Strategic Plan 2025, which identified six strategic opportunities for the institution over the coming years:

  • Advancing arts and culture;
  • Transforming education;
  • Developing leaders;
  • Bridging the coast, energy, and environment;
  • Fostering research and catalyzing economic development; and
  • Improving health and wellbeing

The Community

Situated on the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge represents the best of Louisiana's vibrant culture. The state capital is a diverse and thriving city that is home to LSU, Southern University, Baton Rouge Community College and numerous businesses and industrial facilities. Known for its generous people, its unique food, and its lively music, the “Red Stick” has something for everyone. The Baton Rouge area offers an excellent selection of both public schools, including five of the top ten public school districts in the state, and private schools, including several of the top ones in the country.  Choose Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Baton Rouge, are fantastic resources for all things Baton Rouge.

The State of Louisiana has received numerous accolades in recent years, including:

  • Ranking No. 2 in the nation for private sector job growth in the South based on data from the US Bureau of Labor in 2015;
  • Ranking No. 6 for low student loan debt following graduation in 2017 according to S. News;
  • Being named No. 7 in the nation for best living environment in the 2014 ranking of Best & Worst States for Business by Chief Executive magazine;
  • Ranking No. 1 nationwide in ACT score gains in 2015, according to Greater Baton Rouge Business Report;
  • The Southwest Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail, a 180-mile scenic byway, receiving an All-American Road designation; and
  • Louisiana with it’s beautiful bayous and forests has a rich history in fishing, hunting, and water activities
  • Louisiana with its beautiful bayous and forests has a rich history in fishing, hunting, and water activities


Special Instructions:

Review of applications will begin on March 1, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants must include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information for at least three professional references.

Apply here:

Additional Position Information: Background Check - An offer of employment is contingent on a satisfactory pre-employment background check. Benefits - LSU offers outstanding benefits to eligible employees and their dependents including health, life, dental, and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; retirement options; various leave options; paid holidays; wellness benefits; tuition exemption for qualified positions; training and development opportunities; employee discounts; and more!

LSU believes diversity, equity, and inclusion enrich the educational experience of our students, faculty, and staff, and are necessary to prepare all people to thrive personally and professionally in a global society. We celebrate diversity and are committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We actively seek and encourage qualified applications from persons with diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences. To learn more about how LSU is committed to diversity and inclusivity, please see LSU’s Diversity Statement and Roadmap. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resource Management (

Questions or concerns can be directed to the LSU Human Resources Management Office at 225-578-8200 or emailed