The Michigan Geological Survey at Western Michigan University facilitates basic and applied geological research to promote the best use of Michigan's geological resources for their social and economic benefits while protecting associated resource values and the environment.


Since 1837, activities of the Michigan Geological Survey have served to benefit the health, safety and well-being of Michigan's citizens in the following ways:

  • Collecting, preserving, and archiving geologic samples and data.
  • Disseminating information through published maps, reports, databases and educational outreach programs.
  • Focusing research initiatives and cooperative studies with government, business, industry and educational institutions.

These activities fulfill an important part of the survey's public service by addressing Michigan's urgent need to effectively evaluate its geological resources in following ways:

  • Compiling data from all strata, rocks and deposits and making that data easily accessible.
  • Identifying mineral character and economical uses of strata, rocks and deposits.
  • Investigating Michigan's soil and subsoil.
  • Conducting research on deposits of brine, coal, marl, clay, gypsum, lime, petroleum, metals, metallic ores, building stone, marble, gritstone, mortar and cement materials, mineral paint and any other geological resource that can be used by humans.

Goals and purpose

The Michigan Geological Survey will continue to value high-quality, focused research; build public and private partnerships; provide essential earth science information; and integrate innovative technologies for sustainable resource development. The survey also strives to:

  • Develop water supplies, oil and gas, minerals and other resources.
  • Identify geological hazards.
  • Protect groundwater, surface water and land resources.
  • Provide educational opportunities.