Illinois geologist recognized for industry contributions

By |  March 25, 2020
LafargeHolcim’s Becky Kazmierski, left, presents a plaque to Donald Mikulic during the IAAP Annual Convention. Kazmierski serves IAAP as chairperson of its Public Information & Education Committee. Photo: IAAP

LafargeHolcim’s Becky Kazmierski, left, presents a plaque to Donald Mikulic during the IAAP Annual Convention. Kazmierski serves IAAP as chairperson of its Public Information & Education Committee. Photo: IAAP

The Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) recognized the long-term contributions Donald Mikulic made to both the aggregate industry and the state of Illinois during its annual convention.

Mikulic became an accomplished geologist during his career at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. According to IAAP, he is recognized as the expert on the bedrock geology of Chicago and the northeast region of Illinois.

A prime example of Mikulic’s industry contributions was his effort to preserve aggregate resources in the Chicago metro area. Through newspaper interviews, presentations, court testimony and research papers, Mikulic demonstrated the significant negative economic impact of forfeiting area quarries and zoned aggregate reserves in the 1980s and early 1990s by public agencies. Agencies planned to acquire, either through purchase or condemnation, all or significant portions of various stone quarries in Cook and DuPage Counties. The amount of aggregate resources that would have been lost has been estimated to be as many as 500 million tons or more, according to IAAP.

Mikulic recognized that the loss of these reserves would have accelerated the depletion of northeastern Illinois aggregate resources by decades. It likely would have resulted in the need to import stone from more distant sources at a much higher cost, IAAP adds.

Other contributions

In addition, Mikulic helped to identify millions of tons of previously overlooked reserves on company-owned properties, adding to the local reserves available. His effort here helped to delay future supply problems and avoid increased transportation costs.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Mikulic, with his vast knowledge and expertise, as a friend and resource to our industry,” says Jeff Brown, president of Elmhurst-Chicago Stone. “Our roads, bridges, airports, commercial buildings, churches and homes depend on the health of our industry now and into the future.”

Mikulic now serves as a curator at the Weis Earth Science Museum at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus in Menasha, Wisconsin. He is an active and founding member of IAAP’s Public Information & Education Committee. Mikulic also offers summer geology lectures, directs hands-on activities, and leads field trips during IAAP’s Rocks, Minerals & Mining Workshop for Illinois teachers.

Sarah Peecher

About the Author:

Sarah Peecher is the Digital Media Content Producer for Pit & Quarry. Her experience includes content creation and strategy for both print and digital media, giving her the skills to share stories on websites and social media platforms.

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