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- On February 25, 1908 the General Assembly passed an act establishing a state geological survey at the University of Virginia and made provision for the preparation and publication of reports and maps to illustrate the natural resources of the state. The survey was under the direction of the State Geological Survey Commission, which was composed of the governor, the president of the University of Virginia, the President of Virginia Polytechic Institute, the Superintendent of the Virginia Military Instite, and one citizen from the Commonwealth. The commissioners then appointed Thomas L. Watson, a geologist of established reputation, as director to carry out the work of the survey.
- The objectives and duties of the survey were (1) to examine the geological formations of the state with special attention to their economic value; (2) to examine road building materials; (3) to examine and classify soils and study their adaptability to particular crops; (4) to examine streams and water power for use in manufacturing; (5) to examine water supplies, with special attention to the sinking of deep or artesian wells; (6) to examine the physical features of the state as to their practical bearing on the occupation of the people; (7) to prepare special geological and economic maps to illustrate the resources of the state; (8) to prepare special reports with necessary illustrations and maps, giving economic detail descriptions of the geology and natural resources of the state; and (9) to consider special scientific and economic questions judged by the commission to be of value to the people of the state.
- The commission was abolished in 1926 and its duties were assumed by the Commission on Conservation and Development in accordance with an act passed by the General Assembly on March 17, 1926.
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