USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Professional Pages

Blank space
Search USGS Professionals Featured Profiles Blank space Frequently Asked Questions  |  About The USGS Professional Pages
bio image of Randall  Orndorff

Randall Orndorff

Supervisory Geologist (Center Director)

Contact Info

Short Biography

Randall Carroll Orndorff


Director, Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center

U.S. Geological Survey, MS926A National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192





Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

MS, Geology (1985)

            Thesis:  Conodont biostratigraphy of the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary interval in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA

BS, Geology (1983)




U.S. Geological Survey, Reston Virginia (1981-present)


Position:  Director, Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center (2010-present)

Duties:  Lead a team of 130 employees, mostly scientists who work on geologic mapping and framework, paleoclimate, landslide hazards, and volcano hazards; this includes international projects in Madagascar, Afghanistan, West Africa, Antarctica, and the Arctic.


Position:  Associate Program Coordinator, National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (2002-2010)

Duties:  Coordinated a multi-million dollar National program that supported geologic mapping in State geological surveys and universities; this included evaluation of geologic mapping proposals as well as geologic maps.


Scientific Leadership


Secretary General for North and Central America, Commission for the Geologica Map of the World (2012 - present)


Member of the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (1998-present); chair (2003-2004)


Associate Editor for Geologic Maps, Journal of Maps, Taylor and Francis Publications, London (2005-present)


Member of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute Federal Working Group (2000-2004) and Board of Directors (2006-2009)


Chair of USGS Geologic Names Committee (2005-present)


Co-chair of the USGS Water Strategic Science Planning Team (2010-2012)


Professional Affiliations


Geological Society of America

American Institute of Professional Geologists

Geological Society of Washington

National Speleological Society

Association of Missouri Geologists

Other Positions

Adjunct Professor, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Selected Publications:


Orndorff, R.C., 1988, Latest Cambrian and earliest Ordovician conodonts from the Conococheague and Stonehenge Limestones of northwestern Virginia:  U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1837, chapter A, 18 p.


Orndorff, R.C., Harris, A.G., and Schultz, A.P., 1988, Reevaluation of conodont color alteration patterns in Ordovician rocks, east-central Valley and Ridge and western Blue Ridge Provinces, Tennessee:  U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1839, chapter D, 10 p.


Orndorff, R.C., 1992, Tectonic significance of cross-strike faults in the central Appalachian Great Valley of Maryland and West Virginia:  Southeastern Geology, vol. 32, no. 4, p.197-214.


Orndorff, R.C., Epstein, J.B., and McDowell, R.C., 1999, Geologic map of the Middletown quadrangle, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties, Virginia:  U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Quadrangle Map GQ-1803, scale 1:24,000.


Orndorff, R.C., editor, 1999, Bedrock geologic map of central and southern New Jersey:  U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-2540-B, scale 1:100,000, 4 sheets.


Orndorff, R.C., Harrison, R.W., and Weary, D.J., 1999, Geologic map of the Eminence quadrangle, Shannon County, Missouri:  U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-2653, scale 1:24,000.


Orndorff, Randall C. and Harrison, R.W., 2001, Geologic map of the Winona quadrangle, Shannon County, Missouri:  U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Map I-2749, scale 1:24,000.


Orndorff, R.C., and Harlow, G.E., 2002, Geohydrologic framework of the northern Shenandoah Valley carbonate aquifer system, in, Kuniansky, E.L., U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Workshop Proceedings, Shepherdstown, West Virginia:  U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 02-4174, p. 81-89.


Orndorff, R.C., Weary, D.J., and Sebela, Stanka, 2003, Geologic framework of the Ozarks of south-central Missouri:  Missouri Speleology, v. 42, n. 1, p. 1-8.


Orndorff, R.C., 2004, Geologic map of the Fremont quadrangle, Shannon and Carter Counties, Missouri:  U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Map I-2775, scale 1:24,000.


Orndorff, R.C., Weary, D.J., and Harrison, R.W., 2006, The role of sandstone in the development of an Ozark karst system, south-central Missouri, in Harmon, R.S., and Wicks, C., eds., Perspectives on karst geomorphology, hydrology, and geochemistry-A tribute volume to Derek C. Ford and William B. White:  Geological Society of America Special Paper 404, p. 31-38.


Orndorff, R.C. and Weary, D.J., 2009, Geologic map of the Round Spring quadrangle, Shannon County, Missouri:  U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3073, scale 1:24,000.


Orndorff, R.C., Lyttle, P.T., Bybell, L.M., and Quintana, Lydia, 2008, The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program and insight into the future of geologic map production, in, Soller, D.R., ed, Digital mapping techniques ’07-Workshop proceedings:  U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report, 2008-1385, p. 47-52.


Orndorff, R.C.(ed.), 2009, Set in stone – The work of the National Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature:  Stratigraphy, v. 6, no. 2, p. 89.


U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Names Committee (Orndorff, R.C., Chair and preparer), 2010, Divisions of geologic time—Major chronostratigraphic and geochronologic units:  U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010-3059, 2 p.


Orndorff, R.C., 2012, Fold-to-fault progression of a major thrust zone revealed in horses of the North Mountain fault zone, Virginia and West Virginia, USA:  Journal of Geological Research, v. 2012, article 294093, 13 p.


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Geologic Processesfaulting
Geologic Processesfolding
Geologic Processesland subsidence

Appalachian and Ozarks geology, stratigraphy, structure, geologic mapping, karst

Contact Information

Randall Orndorff
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr
Reston, VA 20192
703-648-6953 - Fax
Back to top

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: November 02 2016 11:49:34.
Version: 2.6