Geologists rock at the Bureau of Land Management Arizona

Did you know that April 7 was Geologists Day? Join us in celebrating Bureau of Land Management geologists who study the processes that shaped the public lands long ago and continue to shape them today.

After all, Arizona has a rich and complex geological history. Across the state, geological features of the landscape range from deep canyons to tall mountains and everything in between.

There’s a lot that goes on under the Arizona ground, too. In fact, the BLM administers approximately 17.5 million subsurface acres, and supervises mineral operations on about 73,000 acres of Native American lands across the state.

Learn more about some of the geologists who make administer our programs in Arizona.

Keenan Murray, Mineral Materials Program Lead, Arizona State Office

A man wearing a white hard hat and safety vest takes a selfie.
Keenan Murray

My name is Keenan Murray, and I am a geologist with over 20 years of experience in the mining, environmental, and geotechnical fields. I’ve worked for state and federal agencies, as well as for private industry and have been with BLM for almost five years. I am currently the Mineral Materials Program Lead at the Arizona State Office. During the COVID years, I won the highly coveted “Best Cat Dad Ever” award and have the t-shirt to prove it. In my spare time, I like to play guitar, rock climb, and make films/videos.

After serving four years in the U.S. Army as a Korean linguist, I attended Arizona State University to study business, but when I was required to take a lab science, I chose geology. I soon found out that business was boring, and geology was fun, so I changed majors. Everybody loves geology and geologists are the coolest. If you don’t believe me, just Google “American Dad Geologist” on YouTube. Geology is also a good ice-breaker topic at any gathering. Ask someone what their favorite rock or mineral is, you’ll always get an answer, and there are no wrong answers.

I see Geologists Day as a celebration of those who are curious about the history, structure, and processes that shaped the Earth. It’s for the people who like to ask why. Why are there mountains? Why are there fossils? Why are there earthquakes? Why are there volcanoes? Why is this rock good for climbing on, but that one isn’t (very important to some of us)? Geologists also have a great sense of humor, so try out a few puns on them like: “Don’t take your schist for granite,” “igneous is bliss,” or sing that famous country song, “Limestone Cowboy.”

Peter Godfrey, Native American Mineral Program Lead, Arizona State Office

A man wearing a red shirt kneels on the ground.
Peter Godfrey

My name is Peter Godfrey, and I am the Native American Mineral Program Lead. I have been a professional geologist for almost 30 years working in the Rocky Mountain oil field, doing slim-hole geophysical analysis in the Southwestern U.S., and engaged in water development throughout Arizona. 

I was fortunate to get hired into the BLM California Desert District as a Hydrologist and Renewable Energy Project Manager, spending five years with those diverse duties. I also spent three years as the Soil, Water, Air Program Lead at the BLM Wyoming State Office within the Resources Division before moving to my current seat with BLM Lands & Minerals.

I am a "rock" enthusiast.  Every rock has a story and better understanding of the stories that I come across is a large part of what keeps me engaged.  As a Federal geoscientist, it has been my privilege to pursue those interests through many aspects of economic geology as a public servant. I advise anyone, at any stage of their career, to focus on those things that get them excited!  Not only will it increase the "fun" factor, but your work-product is likely to reflect that energy with better data and more useful outcomes.

Bureau of Land Management Arizona