John E. Johnston III, PG, CPG
Assistant Director (Retired-Part Time)
John is the Assistant Director emeritus of the Louisiana Geological Survey He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in geological sciences from the University of Southern California and the University of Texas and served as a geologist for Shell Oil Company, Exxon Company, USA, and the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. He has variously served as part-time faculty and taught petroleum engineering, English, geography, and geology at Louisiana State University (LSU) and taught geology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), where he was an adjunct full professor. John currently serves as chairman of the Louisiana Stratigraphic Commission and is a past president and past director of the Baton Rouge Geological Society. Johnston joined the LGS - when it was still part of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) - from Exxon as a Senior Research Geologist, was later named Chief Economic Geologist and then Deputy Director, and also served for several years as the acting head of the LGS. His title changed to Assistant Director when the Louisiana Legislature transferred the LGS from DNR to LSU in 1997. Johnston is the author and/or co-author of a number of publications, including the Official Stratigraphic Charts of Louisiana. His areas of particular expertise are environmental geology, petroleum geology, coal geology, and subsurface geology. LGS emergency support teams under John's leadership, detached from the LGS during critical emergencies, have been repeatedly commended for their emergency, scientific support, mapping, and search and rescue efforts during and after hurricanes - including Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike - and have been credited with saving lives. John is a Certified Professional Geologist and a Licensed Professional Geoscientist and is the recipient of a Louisiana Governor's Award for outstanding public service. He was appointed by the governor to the Louisiana Board of Professional Geoscientists in 2012 and is the board's chairman emeritus and vice-chairman. John is also a published fiction and non-fiction author and a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) as well as a recipient of a Nebula Award, SFWA's highest honor. John has been named a geoscience Subject Matter Expert (SME) by the National Association of State Boards of Geology.
Introduction to Geologic Review
Geologic Review is an ongoing program created by the Louisiana Geological Survey in 1982 which provides regulatory technical assistance to the Office of Coastal Management (OCM) of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and to three districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
Geologic Review Meetings/Schedule:
Geologic Review (GR) meetings are scheduled through the lead permitting agency involved with your permit application. Generally, the meetings are scheduled Tuesday through Thursday (except holidays) of every week. The lead agencies are the Office of Coastal Management (OCM) for the state and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) for the federal government. You should contact your permit analyst at the lead agency to arrange the meeting. If you do not know who this is, contact Christine Charrier or Karl Morgan at OCM at 225-342-7591. For COE-only permits, where no OCM permit is required, contact Darrell Barbara (western area), John Herman (central area) or Mike Farabee (eastern area) at 504-865-1121. To insure maximum agency participation, a minimum of two weeks advance notice is suggested.
GR Meetings are held in the new LaSalle Building on the northwest corner of North Street and Third Street in downtown Baton Rouge. The easiest way to get there is to exit I-110 northbound at North Street (this exit ramp is oddly on the left side of I-110) and follow North Street west towards the Mississippi River to the state's Welcome Center parking garage at North Street and River Road by the Mississippi River. The LaSalle Building is the building to the east of the parking garage. The meetings are held in a conference room on the 10th floor of the LaSalle Building or there will be a posted notice as to the location. Everyone entering the building must now clear a security checkpoint; please bring a picture ID and allow a few extra minutes for this.
You can park in the state's Welcome Center parking garage at North Street and River Road immediately to the west of the LaSalle Building by the Mississippi River (normal parking rates apply). You also may park in the Galvez parking garage at the corner of North Street and Fifth Street (again, normal parking rates apply). Metered street parking also is available.
Preapplication GR Meetings:
Preapplication GR meetings can save time. They are encouraged and can be set up with the lead agency well before submitting a formal application for a permit. The applicant should mention if there is any specific need for members of any relevant commenting agencies (LDEQ, LDWF, USFWS, etc.) to be present so that their schedules can be worked around. To insure maximum agency participation, a minimum of two weeks advance notice is suggested. To schedule a pre-application meeting for locations in the LA Coastal Zone please contact OCM at OCMinfo@la.gov.
The page describing the information needed for a Geologic Review meeting can be found here. Applicants occasionally fail to bring sufficient information and as a result a follow-up meeting may be required and the processing of their permit application is sometimes significantly delayed. Please bring everything listed if at all possible; please remember that items that are seemingly unimportant may be very important to the various permitting and commenting agencies involved. If you have any questions at all please contact John E. Johnston III at either firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Louisiana Geological Survey (225-578-5320)or his cell phone at 225-931-6622.
The only applicant personnel generally required for a Geologic Review meeting are the appropriate geologist and the appropriate petroleum engineer who are handling the prospect. In the event that there is a regulatory or environmental affairs coordinator or consultant involved in the permit then they should probably also be present. Other applicant personnel are generally not really essential to the meeting. Significant applicant delegations, while certainly allowed, are discouraged as they tend to make meetings large, slow, and inefficient.