The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have
the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) Act--Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1002, cited
as the Texas Geoscience Practice Act.
(2) Accredited institutions or programs--An institution
or program which holds accreditation or candidacy status from an accreditation
organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
(CHEA) or other appropriate accrediting entity accepted by the Appointed
(3) Address of record--In the case of an individual
or firm licensed, certified, or registered by the Texas Board of Professional
Geoscientists (TBPG), the address which is filed by the licensee with
(4) Advertising or Advertisement--Any non-commercial
or commercial message, including, but not limited, to verbal statements,
bids, web pages, signage, provider listings, and paid advertisement
which promotes geoscience services.
(5) Applicant--An individual making application for
a geoscience license or Geoscientist-in-Training (GIT) certification;
a firm and/or the Authorized Official of a Firm making application
for a Geoscience Firm registration.
(6) Application--The forms, information, attachments,
and fees necessary to obtain a license as a Professional Geoscientist,
the registration of a firm, or a certification as a Geoscientist-in-Training
(7) Appointed Board--Those persons who are appointed
by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate and qualify for office
who may deliberate, vote, and be counted as a member in attendance
of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists.
(8) ASBOG®--National Association of State Boards
of Geology. ASBOG® serves as a connective link among the individual
state geologic registration licensing boards for the planning and
preparation of uniform procedures and the coordination of geologic
protective measures for the general public. One of ASBOG®'s principal
services is to develop standardized written examinations for determining
qualifications of applicants seeking licensure as professional geologists.
State boards of registration are provided with uniform examinations
that are valid measures of competency related to the practice of the
(9) Authorized Official of a Firm (AOF)--The individual
designated by a Geoscience Firm to be responsible for the process
of submitting the application for the initial registration of the
firm with the TBPG; ensuring that the firm maintains compliance with
the requirements of registration with the TBPG; ensuring that the
firm renews its registration status as long as the firm offers or
provides professional geoscience services; ensuring that the geoscientist
is a currently licensed P.G.; and communicating with the TBPG regarding
(10) Board staff--The Executive Director and all other
staff employed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (administrative,
investigative, and other support staff, etc.).
(11) Certificant--An individual holding a certificate
as a Geoscientist-in-Training.
(12) Cheating--Attempting to obtain, obtaining, providing,
or using answers to examination questions by deceit, fraud, dishonesty,
(13) Complainant--Any individual who has submitted
a complaint to the TBPG, as provided in this chapter.
(14) Complaint--An allegation or allegations of wrongful
activity related to the practice or offering of professional geoscience
services in Texas. A complaint is within the TBPG's jurisdiction if
the complaint alleges a violation of statutes or rules applicable
to the public practice of geoscience or the requirements of licensure
of a Professional Geoscientist (P.G.) or registration by an individual,
firm, or other legal entity.
(15) Council of Soil Scientist Examiners (CSSE)--The
purpose of the Council of Soil Science Examiners is to create, score
and maintain examinations for State Soil Scientists licensing programs.
CSSE develops professional criteria to confirm that individuals meet
and exceed minimum qualifications to practice the profession.
(16) Default--The failure of the Respondent to respond
in writing to a notice or appear in person or by legal representative
on the day and at the time set for hearing in a contested case or
informal conference, or the failure to appear by telephone, e-mail,
fax or other electronic media in accordance with the notice of hearing
or notice of informal conference. Default results in the actions being
taken that were described in the notice of the hearing for a contested
case or informal conference in the event of a failure to appear.
(17) Direct supervision--Critical watching, evaluating,
and directing of geoscience activities with the authority to review,
enforce, and control compliance with all geoscience criteria, specifications,
and procedures as the work progresses. Direct supervision will consist
of an acceptable combination of: exertion of significant control over
the geoscience work, regular personal presence, reasonable geographic
proximity to the location of the performance of the work, and an acceptable
employment relationship with the supervised individual(s).
(18) Discipline--One of three recognized courses of
study under which an individual may qualify for a license as a Professional
Geoscientist. Geoscience is comprised of the following disciplines:
geology, geophysics, and soil science.
(19) Executive Director--The individual appointed by
the Appointed Board who shall be responsible for managing the day
to day affairs of the board, in accordance with the Act.
(20) Filed date--The date that the document has been
received by the TBPG or, if the document has been mailed to the TBPG,
the postmark date of the document.
(21) Geology--The discipline of geoscience that addresses
the science of the origin, composition, structure, and history of
the Earth and its constituent soils, rocks, minerals, fossil fuels,
solids, fluids and gasses, and the study of the natural and introduced
agents, forces, and processes that cause changes in and on the Earth,
and is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically,
those natural and introduced agents, forces, and processes for the
benefit of mankind. There are many subdivisions of geology, which
include, but are not limited to, the following: historical geology,
physical geology, economic geology, mineralogy, paleontology, structural
geology, mining geology, petroleum geology, physiography, geomorphology,
geochemistry, hydrogeology, petrography, petrology, volcanology, stratigraphy,
engineering geology, and environmental geology.
(22) Geophysics--Refers to that science which involves
the study of the physical Earth by means of measuring its natural
and induced fields of force, and its responses to natural and induced
energy or forces, the interpretation of these measurements, applied
with judgment to benefit or protect the public.
(23) Geoscience--The science of the Earth and its origin
and history, the investigation of the Earth's environment and its
constituent soils, rocks, minerals, fossil fuels, solids, and fluids,
and the study of the natural and introduced agents, forces, and processes
that cause changes in and on the Earth as applied with professional
judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, those natural and
introduced agents, forces, and processes for the benefit of the public.
(24) Geoscience Firm--Any entity that engages in or
offers to engage in the practice of professional geoscience before
the public in the State of Texas. This term includes a sole practitioner
registered with TBPG as a Geoscience Firm, a sole proprietor registered
as a Geoscience Firm, co-partnership, corporation, partnership, limited
liability company, joint stock association, or other business organization.
(25) Geoscience services (also professional geoscience
services, and professional geoscience)--Services which must be performed
by or under the direct supervision of a Professional Geoscientist
and which meet the definition of the practice of geoscience as defined
in the Texas Occupations Code, §1002.002(3). A service shall
be conclusively considered a professional geoscience service if it
is delineated in that section; other services requiring a Professional
Geoscientist by contract, or services where the adequate performance
of that service requires a geoscience education, training, or experience
in the application of special knowledge or judgment of the geological,
geophysical or soil sciences to that service shall also be conclusively
considered a professional geoscience service. These services may include
consulting, investigating, evaluating, analyzing, planning, mapping,
and inspecting geoscientific work, and the responsible supervision
of those tasks.
(26) License--The legal authority granted the holder
to actively practice geoscience upon meeting the requirements as set
out in the Act and this chapter.
(27) License certificate--Any certificate issued by
the TBPG showing that a license, registration, or certificate has
been granted by the TBPG. A certificate is not valid unless it is
accompanied by a card issued by the TBPG which shows the expiration
date of the license, registration or certification.
(28) License status--The status of a Professional Geoscientist
license, Geoscience Firm registration, or GIT certification is one
of the following:
(A) Current license--A license, registration, or certification
that has not expired.
(B) Expired license--A Professional Geoscientist license
that has been expired for less than three years and is therefore renewable,
or a Geoscience Firm registration or GIT certification that has been
expired for less than one year and is therefore renewable.
(C) Permanently expired license--A license, registration,
or certification that is no longer renewable.
(29) Licensee--An individual or other entity holding
a current Professional Geoscientist license, GIT certificate, or firm
(30) Meritless complaint--a complaint in which the
allegations are unfounded or groundless (no legitimate basis for the
allegation) or the allegations are unsubstantiated or unverified (no
determination could be made as to whether there was any basis for
(31) Non-jurisdictional complaint-- a complaint in
which the TBPG has no jurisdiction over the alleged conduct.
(32) Person--Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation,
association, or other legal public or private entity, including a
state agency or governmental subdivision.
(33) Professional Geoscientist or P.G.--An individual
who holds a license as a Professional Geoscientist issued by the TBPG.
(34) Practice for the public--
(A) Providing professional geoscience services:
(i) For a governmental entity in Texas;
(ii) To comply with a rule established by the State
of Texas or a political subdivision of the State of Texas; or
(iii) For the public or a firm or corporation in the
State of Texas if the practitioner accepts ultimate liability for
the work product; and
(B) Does not include services provided for the express
use of a firm or corporation by an employee or consultant if the firm
or corporation assumes the ultimate liability for the work product.
(35) The Public--Any individual(s), client(s), business
or public entities, or any member of the general population whose
normal course of life might reasonably include an interaction of any
sort with or be impacted by professional geoscience services.
(36) Registered firm--A firm that is currently registered
with the TBPG.
(37) Registrant--An individual whose sole-proprietorship
is currently registered with the TBPG or a firm that is currently
registered with the TBPG.
(38) Respondent--Any individual or firm, licensed or
unlicensed, who has been charged with violating any provision of the
Act or a rule or order issued by the Appointed Board.
(39) Responsible charge--The independent control and
direction of geoscience services or the supervision of geoscience
services by the use of initiative, skill, and independent judgment.
(40) Rule or Board Rule--State agency rules adopted
by the Appointed Board and as published in the Texas Administrative
Code, Title 22, Part 39, Chapters 850 and 851.
(41) Soil Science--Soil science means the science of
soils, their classification, origin and history, the investigation
and interpretation of physical, chemical, morphological, and biological
characteristics of the soil including, among other things, their ability
to produce vegetation and the fate and movement of physical, chemical,
and biological contaminants.
(42) Sole-proprietorship--A single owned Professional
Geoscientist's geoscience business that has no separate legal existence
from its owner.
(43) TBPG--The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists,
as used in this chapter, is a reference to the whole or any part of
the entity that is the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists.