Building on 100 years of history, the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) provides geological information and advice about the geology of Alberta to the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), industry, and the public to support the exploration, sustainable development, regulation, and conservation of Alberta's resources.
AGS is the official provincial geological survey of Alberta. It operates under the guiding principles of the Canada Intergovernmental Geoscience Accord, which identifies the provincial survey as being the principal steward, resident authority, and principal investigator for public geoscience. AGS is responsible for describing the geology and resources in the province and provides information and knowledge to help resolve land use, environmental, public health, and safety issues related to geosciences.
Our roots go back to 1912, one year after the founding of the University of Alberta. Dr. Henry Marshall Tory, then president of the university, appointed Dr. John Allan to create a geology department and teach at the university. Dr. Allan took up the challenge and taught geology for nearly 40 years, 37 as the head of the geology department.
In 1920, Dr. Allan delivered the first government report on the mineral resources of the province to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, reporting on 18 different mineral resources. That report marked the beginning of AGS. Created in 1921 by Order in Council of the Alberta government, AGS was established as a core part of the Scientific and Industrial Research Council, and later the Alberta Research Council. In the late 1990s, AGS was transferred to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (a former version of the AER) to provide geoscience expertise to support the regulatory process, to provide necessary geoscience information and knowledge to the Government of Alberta, and to fulfill the need for unbiased, credible public geoscience information. AGS resides within the provincial regulator to this day, providing world-class geoscience support for Alberta’s regulatory process.