Rick Langel


What are your responsibilities with the IGS?

I manage the IGS’ databases, which serve geologic data to the public, and manage the IGS’ collection of rocks stored in the Rock Library. I develop GIS coverages for use in groundwater related projects.

What are your research/project interests?

I’m interested in database/application development, groundwater processes and modeling, and applications of GIS data to geologic problems.

How can your research in your areas of interest improve the quality of life in Iowa?

I use my influence to assist Iowans find safe and sustainable sources of drinking water.

What is your academic and professional background?

I have a MS in geology from the University of Iowa. I started working at the IGS in 1998. I’ve worked in multiple sections at the IGS, but have always worked with databases.

At about what age and why did you decide to become a geologist/scientist?

I was 15 or 16 when I decided to become a scientist (specifically an oceanographer). I discovered geology during my sophomore year of college.

What field activity is your favorite?

Collecting fossils to give students during outreach events in my favorite field activity.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy bicycling and fishing, especially ice fishing, in my free time.