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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 145. Board For Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, And Geologists
Chapter 40. Regulations for the Geology Certification Program
9/23/2021

18VAC145-40-70. Qualifications for certification.

A. Each applicant for certification as a certified professional geologist in Virginia shall:

1. Make application on forms provided by the board;

2. Be of ethical character;

3. Hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited college or university with a major in geology, engineering geology, geological engineering or a related geological science. In the absence of one of the aforementioned degrees, each applicant shall provide evidence of the satisfactory completion of 30 semester hours (or the equivalent) of geological science courses including, but not limited to, the following subjects:

a. Stratigraphy;

b. Structural geology;

c. Mineralogy;

d. Paleontology;

e. Petrology;

f. Geomorphology; and

g. Field geology.

At least 12 semester hours must have been completed in four of the seven subjects listed in this subsection.

4. Provide the board with written documentation that demonstrates that the courses satisfactorily completed by the applicant are equivalent to those required by this section.

5. Have at least seven years of geological work that shall include either a minimum of three years of geological work under the supervision of a qualified or certified professional geologist, or a minimum of three years of experience in responsible charge of geological work. The work shall include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following areas:

a. Mineralogy.

(1) Identify and classify major rock types.

(2) Identify mineral assemblages.

(3) Determine probable genesis and sequence of mineral assemblages.

(4) Identify minerals on the basis of chemical composition.

(5) Predict subsurface mineral characteristics on the basis of exposures and drillholes.

b. Petrography/petrology.

(1) Identify and classify major rock types.

(2) Determine physical properties of rocks.

(3) Determine chemical properties of rocks.

(4) Determine types or degrees of rock alteration.

(5) Determine suites of rock types.

c. Geochemistry.

(1) Establish analytical objectives and approaches.

(2) Evaluate geochemical data.

(3) Construct models based on results of geochemical analysis.

(4) Make recommendations based upon results of geochemical analyses.

d. Hydrogeology.

(1) Design and interpret hydrologic testing programs.

(2) Utilize chemical data to evaluate hydrogeologic conditions.

(3) Apply geophysical methods to analyze hydrogeologic conditions.

(4) Determine physical and chemical properties of aquifers and vadose zones.

(5) Determine groundwater flow systems.

(6) Evaluate groundwater resources.

(7) Evaluate groundwater quality.

(8) Design wells and drilling programs.

(9) Develop groundwater resource management plans.

(10) Plan and evaluate remedial action programs.

e. Engineering geology.

(1) Provide geological information and interpretations for engineering design.

(2) Identify and evaluate potential seismic and other geologic hazards.

(3) Provide geologic consultation during and after construction.

(4) Develop and interpret engineering geology maps and sections.

(5) Evaluate materials resources.

(6) Define and establish site selection and evaluation criteria.

(7) Design and implement field and laboratory programs.

(8) Describe and sample soils for geologic analysis and materials properties testing.

f. Mining geology.

(1) Formulate exploration programs.

(2) Implement field investigations on prospects.

(3) Perform geologic interpretations for mineral reserves.

(4) Perform economic analyses/appraisals.

(5) Provide geologic interpretations for mine development and production activities.

(6) Provide geologic interpretations for mine abandonments, closures, or restorations.

g. Petroleum geology.

(1) Formulate exploration programs.

(2) Implement field investigations on prospects.

(3) Perform geologic interpretations of physical properties and hydrocarbon reserves.

(4) Perform petroleum economic analyses/appraisals.

(5) Provide geologic interpretations for development and production activities.

(6) Provide geologic interpretations for abandonments, closures, or restorations.

B. Each year of full-time undergraduate study in the geological sciences shall count as one-half year of experience up to a maximum of two years, and each year of full-time graduate study shall count as a year of experience up to a maximum of three years. Credit for undergraduate and graduate study shall in no case exceed a total of four years toward meeting the requirements for at least seven years of geological work. The board may consider in lieu of the above-described geological work, the cumulative total of geological work or geological research of persons occupying research or post-graduate positions as well as those teaching geology courses at the college or university level, provided such work or research can be demonstrated to be of a sufficiently responsible nature to be equivalent to the geological work required above.

C. A year of full-time employment is a minimum of 1,760 hours or 220 workdays in a 12-month period. More than 1,760 hours or 220 workdays during a 12-month period shall not be considered as more than one year of full-time experience. Partial credit may be given for actual hours of work or workdays experience if the applicant works as a geologist less than full time.

D. Each applicant shall successfully pass an appropriate examination approved by the board and designed to demonstrate that the applicant has the necessary knowledge and skill to exercise the responsibilities of the public practice of geology.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.Former 18VAC70-20-80 derived from VR335-01-2 § 2.1, eff. February 1, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 13, eff. April 24, 1991; Volume 11, Issue 6, eff. February 1, 1995; Volume 22, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2006; amended and renumbered as 18VAC145-40-70, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 23, eff. August 15, 2012.

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