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Dr. Nelia Dunbar

Dr. Nelia Dunbar
Director & State Geologist
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
575-835-5783
(575) 835-6333 fax

As director of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, I am responsible for overseeing the research and service activities of the state geological survey. I work closely with many of the staff to keep current on their activities, and to provide advice when needed. I report to the president of New Mexico Tech, who I keep informed about bureau activities and events. I represent the bureau at the state legislature, to other state agencies, and at national meetings. I serve as the New Mexico representative to the American Association of State Geologists organization. My scientific background is in geochemistry, mainly in the study of volcanic rocks, and I recieved funding for, and previously directed the electron microprobe laboratory, where I now act as advisor. I am an adjunct faculty member in the Earth and Environmental Science department at New Mexico Tech, where I have taught classes and advised graduate students.

(See Curriculum Vitae)

Education

  • George School
    Graduated, 1979
  • Mount Holyoke College
    BA summa cum laude in geology, 1983
    overall GPA 3.76 GPA in geology 3.90
    Honors thesis: Mineralogical and geochemical investigation of Cascade Range tephra.
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
    MS in geology, 1985
    PhD in geochemistry, 1989
    Dissertation: Investigation of volatile contents and degassing systematics of rhyoltic magmas from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand.

Employment

  • Director and State Geologist/Adjunct Faculty: Oct. 2016-present. New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources/ Earth and Environmental Science Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Oversight of research and service activities for the New Mexico state geological survey. Represent the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources at the state legislature, to other state agencies, and at national meeting. Act as advisor for the electron microprobe laboratory, and carry out limited research.
  • Director and State Geologist, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources: Oct. 2016-present.
  • Geochemist/Adjunct Faculty: Aug. 1992-Oct. 2016. New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and Earth and Environmental Science Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Research on a volcanology, igneous petrology, and economic geology, particularly on tephrochronology and New Mexico and Antarctica, as well as on magmatic processes. Manager of the NMBG Cameca SX-100 electron microprobe facility.
  • Antarctic Researcher: Numerous seasons (1983/84; 1984/85; 1985/86; 1987/88; 1988/89; 1989/90; 1990/91, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11). Volcanological field work in various parts of Antarctica, as field assistant, graduate researcher, or principal investigator. Work mainly included mapping recent volcanic rocks and measuring volatile outputs of an active volcano.
  • Adjunct Faculty Member: 1995-present. Earth and Environmental Science Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
  • Research Associate: March, 1991-Aug. 1992. Oak Ridge National Labs. Petrology and gas geochemistry of In Situ Vitrification project.
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate: Sept., 1988-Feb, 1991. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Research on volatile contents and gradients in the Bishop and Bandelier Tuffs and Taupo Ignimbrite. Supported by the National Science Foundation grants.
  • Field Assistant: Summer, 1985. Inyo domes drilling project. Core logging on a young obsidian dome.
  • X-Ray Lab Technician: Summer, 1984. New Mexico Bureau of Mining and Mineral Resources. Preparing and analyzing standards for x-ray fluorescence and diffraction.
  • Petrology Internship: Summer, 1983. Chevron Oil Field Research Company, La Habra, CA. Preparing and analyzing standards for x-ray diffraction.

Honors

  • Geological Society of America Fellow (elected 2014)
  • New Mexico Geological Society Honorary Member (elected 2014)
  • Mary Lyon Scholar ("outstanding young alumna", Mt. Holyoke College, awarded 1998)
  • Sarah Williston Scholar (top 15% of class after sophomore year)
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Sigma Xi

Professional Memberships & Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geological Society of America
  • New Mexico Geological Society (Honorary Member and Publications Chair)
  • Microbeam Analysis Society
  • American Assocation of University Women