January 27, 2021
Board Meeting (1/27/21)
North Carolina Board for Licensing of Geologists
Minutes • January 27, 2021 • 9:30 a.m.
Virtual Meeting held by Zoom
Call to Order/Conflict of Interest Statement/Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was called to order at 9:26 a.m. by Board Chair Steve Stadelman. Other Board members present included Rachel Kirkman, Dennis LaPoint, Robert Mensah-Biney, Richard Spruill and Kenneth Taylor. Executive Director Barbara Geiger, staff member Jenna Miller and Board Counsel Sarah Zambon were also present. Dr. Stadelman read the Conflict of Interest Statement as required by the State Government Ethics Act. Dr. Taylor noted that, as the State Geologist and employee of the NC Department of Environmental Quality, he would refrain from participating in the deliberation or taking any action by the Board with respect to any matter involving an employee of the Department. A quorum was established.
Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Stadelman welcomed Board members to the meeting.
Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of the December 2, 2020 meeting as amended was made by Kenneth Taylor and seconded by Rachel Kirkman. The motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Taylor presented the second quarter balance sheet and profit and loss statement. Following an overview, motion was made by Dr. Spruill and seconded by Dr. LaPoint to accept the report as presented. The motion carried.
Ms. Geiger reported that there are currently 1111 active individual licenses and 234 active corporate licenses. There are 229 licensees on inactive status.
Legal Report and Board Training
Sarah Zambon provided an overview of the seventeen (17) Executive Orders that had been signed by the Governor since the pandemic began. She also shared two articles regarding ethics. Ms. Zambon reviewed the NC Ethics Commission, specifically Chapter 138A – State Government Ethics Act and the requirements for Board members to complete mandatory ethics education. Ms. Zambon provided links to the Ethics Law and the Ethics Commission website.
There was discussion regarding the ethics education and the fact that online training is not available at this time.
Continuing Education Report
The Continuing Education Committee met just prior to the Board meeting. There were 5 applications reviewed. The Committee approved 4 applications with no changes and asked for additional information on one application for a stream restoration activity. Dr. Stadelman gave an overview of the application and the reason that more detail was requested. He suggested that the Board consider giving a set percentage of hours for stream restoration activities. Ms. Miller was asked to prepare a draft document outlining stream restoration and how the Board will determine credit for those of activities.
There was discussion regarding the partial credit given for HAZWOPER, MSHA and other regulatory training that is a requirement for some licensees.
The CE Guidelines document was discussed. Following discussion, Dennis LaPoint made the motion to adopt the guidelines document as amended. The motion was seconded by Dr. Spruill and carried unanimously.
Staff will prepare a communication regarding CE, including the CE Guidelines document, carry over hours and the requirement for 12 hours of CE as a condition of renewal for the 2021-2022 license year.
The Board discussed a potential virtual presentation regarding continuing education. It was decided that once the Certemy software and new website are implemented, that the Board would determine what type of presentations would be needed.
Motion was made by Dr. Spruill and seconded by Dennis LaPoint to approve the report of the Continuing Education Committee. The motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Spruill suggested once again, that as the CE requirement has been in effect for more than three years, that in the near future the Board request feedback from licensees regarding the requirement of CE as a condition of renewal, in order to evaluate the efficacy of the program. He suggested that the Board survey the licensees regarding how they see the CE process, i.e. “how are we doing” and to ask for ideas regarding how the CE process could be more effective. Board members were in agreement regarding sending a survey regarding CE. Dr. Spruill will do some research regarding the efficacy of continuing education overall and will be prepared to present that to the Board at the April meeting.
Dennis LaPoint suggested that ASBOG® should be part of the process. Ms. Kirkman agreed to participate in a call with Deana Sneyd from ASBOG®. Dr. Stadelman asked Ms. Geiger to pull together documents relative to the topic of CE so that he can better understand how previous Boards saw the requirement for continuing education and what the thought processes were.
Ms. Geiger was asked to invite past Board chair Bill Miller to the April meeting of the Board to share his thoughts regarding CE and what transpired leading up to and during the implementation of the CE requirement.
Ms. Geiger reported that the next ASBOG® exam is scheduled for March 19, 2021 and would be held at the McKimmon Center. As of the meeting, there are 33 candidates; approximately 20 for each part. She noted that there are 22 applications for exam that would be presented for Board review today. Ms. Geiger shared a request for special accommodation for one exam applicant. Dr. Spruill suggested that all Board members should attend an exam administration at some point. Dr. Stadelman noted that he would attend the March exam. Dr. Spruill will also attend.
Ms. Kirkman advised the Board that the Council of Examiners Workshop (COE) would most likely be virtual and that the decision would be held at the end of February. The number of Subject Matter Experts (SME) will be limited. Ms. Kirkman, Dr. Lapoint and Dr. Spruill expressed an interest in attending the workshop.
Changing Geologic Curriculum and Licensure
Dr. Spruill informed the Board of a second request from an institution of higher learning, Appalachian State University, that the NC Board review their geology program and indicate whether or not it met the educational requirements for license in NC. Ms. Kirkman noted that the subject had been discussed by the ASBOG® Board, but that it had not been taken up, as very few state boards have received inquiries.
Dr. Spruill reminded the Board that there had been lengthy discussion regarding the changing geologic curriculum in institutions across the Nation at the last meeting. Dr. Spruill noted that the profession has not changed, but that the geologic curricula and the profession have changed, specifically since the last Task Analysis Survey (TAS) done by ASBOG®. Dr. Spruill suggested that these changes be taken into consideration when the TAS is performed in 2022. Dr. Stadelman asked that Ms. Kirkman give thought to the issue and take the ideas discussed by the Board back to ASBOG® for discussion. Dr. Spruill noted that psychometrician Jack Warner would be a superlative resource.
Dr. Spruill asked that the request be forwarded to ASBOG®. Ms. Geiger informed the Board that she had put the individual in touch with Deana Sneyd. Dr. Spruill suggested that the exam answer sheet might ask specific questions regarding geology courses taken by exam candidates, in an attempt to determine the relativity of their performance in certain content domain areas.
Dr. LaPoint suggested that the Board gather their thoughts and put them in writing in order that Ms. Kirkman can take the issue to ASBOG® for review. He indicated that the issue must be brought before the right people who can champion the campaign, in order to make the necessary changes.
Rules Review and Updates
Ms. Geiger reminded Board members that they should be reviewing the rules of the Board in preparation for possible changes to existing rules and/or adding or deleting rules.
Dr. Stadelman inquired if Board members were receiving updates for Federal and State rules that affect licensed geologists.
Ms. Geiger informed Board members that she was waiting on the Department of Information Technology and Certemy to finalize the contract for software services. She is working with Imp Designs on the new website.
Meetings & Virtual Presentations
The Board determined that there are two presentations that are needed. There is a need for a presentation used for students in geological curriculums across the state regarding licensing and there is also a need for a presentation used for faculty and geology departments across the state. The presentation for the geology faculty could provide information regarding the exam being used as a Curriculum Performance Assessment Tool (CPAT) and how that information can benefit the university.
It was noted that there are presentations that have already been prepared by various members of the Board and other related organizations such as ASBOG®. Dr. Taylor will share the list of geology departments in NC with Ms. Geiger. An email will then be distributed to geology departments regarding making a presentation on licensure to students.
It was determined that the most recent copy of the student presentation be updated to be more dynamic and that the presenter attempt to bring the presentation to life and to engage with students. Ms. Geiger was asked to share Ms. Kirkman’s most recent presentation with Board members.
Ms. Geiger was instructed to contact Randy Kath at ASBOG® to invite him to attend the April meeting to make a presentation to the Board on the CPAT.
State Regulations where Geologist is Required
There was discussion regarding rules that may affect geology and licensees that are currently being changed, specifically groundwater rules as set out in Title 15A.
Federal Mandate regarding SARA Compact
The Board discussed the federal mandate regarding the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA Compact) and that the requests from the two Universities regarding review of their geology programs and the requirement for license were most likely as a result of new mandates.
CE for License Renewal
It was determined that the twelve (12) hour requirement for continuing education would be in effect for the 2021-2022 license renewal.
Per NCGS § 143-318.11(6), motion was made by Dr. Taylor, seconded by Dr. LaPoint and carried, to move into closed session to review applications.
Motion was made by Dr. Taylor and seconded by Dr. Lapoint to resume the open session. The motion carried.
Motion was made by Dr. Taylor to accept those actions taken by the Board in closed session regarding applications for examination, comity, reinstatement and corporate license. The motion was seconded by Dr. LaPoint and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, on motion by Dr. Spruill and second by Dr. Taylor, the meeting was adjourned at 1:48 pm.
Kenneth Taylor, Secretary/Treasurer