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The Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (GLGMC), consisting of state geological surveys from all eight Great Lakes states, the Ontario Geological Survey, and the U.S. Geological Survey, was conceived out of a societal need for unbiased and scientifically defensible geologic information on the shallow subsurface, particularly the delineation, interpretation, and viability of groundwater resources. Only a small percentage (<10%) of the region had been mapped in the subsurface, and there was recognition that no single agency had the financial, intellectual, or physical resources to conduct such a massive geologic mapping effort at a detailed scale over a wide jurisdiction. The GLGMC provides a strategy for generating financial and stakeholder support for three-dimensional (3-D) geologic mapping, pooling of physical and personnel resources, and sharing of mapping and technological expertise to characterize the thick cover of glacial sediments. Since its inception in 1997, the GLGMC partners have conducted detailed surficial and 3-D geologic mapping within all jurisdictions, and concurrent significant scientific advancements have been made to increase understanding of the history and framework of geologic processes. More importantly, scientific information has been provided to public policymakers in understandable formats, emphasis has been placed on training early-career scientists in new mapping techniques and emerging technologies, and a successful model has been developed of state/provincial and federal collaboration focused on geologic mapping, as evidenced by this program’s unprecedented and long-term successful experiment of 10 geological surveys working together to address common issues.

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