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M. Lee Allison
AZGS Director and State Geologist

ATTN: M. Lee Allison
416 W. Congress St., Suite 100
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Phone: 520-770-3500
DIRECT Line: 520-209.4121
Fax: 520-770-3505




  • B.A., University of California, Riverside
  • M.S., San Diego State University
  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Current Projects

  • Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI) Focus Group, Executive Committee, American Geophysical Union
  • Arizona Geographic Information Council
  • Association of American State Geologists, Chair, Data Discovery & Delivery Committee,
  • Associate Editor, Informatics, American Geophysical Union, EOS Editorial Advisory Board, March 2008-present
  • iPlant Collaborative, Education-Outreach-Training Advisory Council, January 2009 – present
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Arizona Dept. of Geosciences, March 2008 – present
  • Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS,, member Steering Committee
  • Arizona Geological Society, Councilor and Past-president
  • Geoscience Information Network Steering Committee (AASG-USGS), co-chair
  • National Geoinformatics System, member Governance Task Force
  • Registered Geologist in Arizona, California, Utah, and Wyoming
  • For the My Blog!


Lee Allison was appointed State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey in December, 2005.  Previously, he served as State Geologist in Utah (1989-1999) and Kansas (1999-2004).  During 2004-2005, he was Policy Advisor for Science and Energy to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, and chaired the Kansas Energy Council from its inception in 2002 to 2005.

He holds BA (University of California, Riverside), MS (San Diego State University), and PhD (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) degrees in geology.  He is active in science policy and public policy, especially related to natural resources, geologic hazards, and public engagement.  He has extensive experience in petroleum and geothermal exploration throughout the U.S. 

He is co-founder of the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS –, is active in defending science in the fight over teaching evolution, and is helping build the cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences (

He received the Public Service Award of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2002, the Tanya Atwater “Encourage” Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists for promoting the role of women in the profession, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists John T. Galey Jr. Award for Public Service in 2008.   

The murder mystery “Fault Line” by Sarah Andrews is loosely based on his experiences in Salt Lake City leading up to the 2002 Olympics.  The Hutchinson (KS) News hailed Lee as a “Shining Light” for his role in helping restore the city to safety after deadly natural gas explosions, which is featured in an episode of the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” documentary series on “Engineering Disasters’.