Protecting and Promoting Your Interests

New director appointed to lead Michigan Geological Survey

The Michigan Geological Survey (MSG) is delighted to announce the appointment of Sara Pearson, an alumna of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, as the incoming director, effective July 1, 2024.
In her new position, Pearson will lead efforts to achieve MGS's mission to expand cutting-edge geological research, collect and preserve geological samples, furnish vital public data and analysis, and facilitate a deeper understanding of Michigan's geological landscape to empower informed decision-making and foster sustainable development of our natural resources. Since 1837, the initial activities of the MGS have provided data about Michigan’s mineral and rock resources, then water supplies, mineral and rock resources, energy resources and natural hazards, all to serve the public interest.
Pearson brings over two decades of comprehensive experience, culminating in her most recent role as the source water unit supervisor at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Beginning her career in environmental consulting, Pearson ascended from a field geologist to a project manager, specializing in environmental remediation. Transitioning to the public sector with EGLE, Pearson led numerous statewide initiatives, with a strong focus on augmenting program efficiency and public access to critical environmental data. Her recent efforts have concentrated on advocating for best practices in contamination prevention, especially source water protection and sustainable water resource management.
Pearson expressed her enthusiasm for the opportunity, saying, “I have a vision that MGS will be the leading authority in Michigan for geological research and promoting sustainable and responsible use of the state’s geological and water resources to benefit our people and environment.”
Pearson succeeds John Yellich, who assumed the role of MGS director in 2013 and was instrumental in the successful acquisition of several grants that laid the groundwork for an ambitious vision of a fully operational and thriving geological survey.
“Sara Pearson brings the additional benefit of a long history of understanding the need to identify and protect our natural resources and now Michigan has a functional Geological Survey to begin to meet those objectives,” says Yellich. 
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