The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology provides extensive advisory, technical, and informational services about Montana's geological, mineral, energy, and water resources to the public and private sectors; it also is legislatively mandated to communicate and disseminate the findings of research conducted within the organization. The primary responsibility of the Information Services Division (ISD) is to enable adherence to that mandate. The division head serves as the public information officer for the Bureau.
The goals of the Information Services Division are to provide efficient editorial and publication services for Bureau documents, and to disseminate these documents as printed publications through the Bureau website and by other formats that may be identified as feasible and appropriate. Staff members also respond to customer requests for information by identifying and providing appropriate publications or other data sources as necessary.
The MBMG responds to requests for information on Montana geology and hydrogeology from a surprisingly diverse range of people including: artists (jewelers, potters, etc.); builders; geologists; local, county, State and Federal agencies; miners; researchers; recreationists (amateur gold prospectors, campers, fishermen, gardeners, hikers, hunters, rock hounds, etc.); real estate agencies; students; schools; and other universities and colleges. Information may be supplied as Bureau publications, USGS topographic or thematic maps, or as referrals to Bureau researchers or other agencies that can provide the necessary data. These materials are used for administration, geological studies, genealogical studies, search and rescue, spelunking, teaching, thesis and dissertation studies, tourism, water-well potential and location, and zoning.
The Information Services Division comprises four sections: Editorial, Cartography, Information Systems, and Publication Sales. All sections interact daily with a variety of professionals, including but not limited to researchers, printers, publishers, State and Federal agencies, and the private sector. Brief descriptions of each section are as follows.
The editorial staff is responsible for the scientific editing, desktop publishing, typesetting, and pre-press production of a wide variety of publications. We are experienced in all aspects of electronic and traditional publishing, including performing all levels of editing and production, and are proficient in the latest, state-of-the-art production software. Staff members help produce research, education, and outreach publications that address such areas as mineral resources, geologic mapping, petroleum geology, watershed characterization, energy education, remote sensing, and GIS for technical and non-technical audiences.
The cartographic staff provides experience in the research, compilation, design and preparation of maps, technical illustrations, scientific publications, exhibits, and presentations.
The information systems section holds our link to the outside world via the Internet. Our webmaster develops, deploys, and manages the daily operation of the Bureau's World Wide Web Information System by acquiring, compiling, and maintaining graphical hypertext information; directing database maintenance activities; improving user access to the data; and creating better data distribution methods.
The Bureau's sales office provides service and information via mail, phone, fax, and e-mail. It is responsible for the Bureau's media relations and also for the dissemination of informational materials. In addition to distributing its own publications, the Bureau serves as an agent for the U.S. Geological Survey in the sale of geologic and topographic maps of Montana. Exchange materials received at the Bureau are deposited in the Montana Tech library, where they serve as a ready reference to Bureau personnel, Tech faculty, staff, and students, and Montana citizens.