Senior Coal Geologist / Database Manager
New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
Phone: (575) 835-6105
Fax: (575) 835-6333
- Adams State College, Alamosa, CO 1972-1976 - B.A. -- One of the coldest places in the US, known as the Land of the Cool Sunshine. ASU is a terrific small college. I took geology as a science credit at ASC and ended up majoring in geology and archeology.
- University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 1976-1979 - M.S.--One of the hottest places in the US--The U of A was a real culture shock for me coming from Adams State, a school of about 2000 students, to a campus of over 60,000 students. I was lucky enough to get an assistantship, have a great thesis committee and an interesting thesis area looking at an early Cretaceous rudist patch reef near Bisbee, AZ.
Gretchen has worked at the New Mexico Bureau of Mines for 28 years as a coal geologist. During this time, she has done field mapping in west-central New Mexico, ran a drilling program for a 3-year coal quality evaluation study in the San Juan Basin, and done numerous coal resource evaluation studies primarily in the San Juan Basin. Developing coal databases has been a integral part of her work at the Bureau. For the past 28 years Gretchen has worked on US Geological Survey cooperative grants evaluating and entering data into the National Coal Resource Data System. From 1998 to 2005, Gretchen was the principal investigator for four Coal Availability studies, funded by the US Geological Survey, evaluating coal resources using GIS. Three of the availability studies were on areas within the San Juan Basin, and the final study (2005) was centered in the Raton basin. Prior to this availability study, Gretchen worked on a project with other researchers at NM Tech looking at the coalbed methane potential in the Raton basin.
Other interests include looking at industrial minerals associated with coal, such as humates, clinker and fly ash. Gretchen's interest in fly ash has led to other research on use of natural and artificial pozzolans and supplementary cementitious materials in cement and concrete. Gretchen has also collaborated with Maureen Wilks on the Mine Map initiative, particularly in collecting historic coal mine maps.
As part of the Bureau's outreach program, Gretchen has written articles on coal geology and mining for Lite Geology and has taught topographic map reading to teachers at several Rockin' Around New Mexico
- Research on use of natural and artificial pozzolans in the western U.S. in cement and concrete
- Developing a GIS project with non-confidential coal data for the San Juan basin that will be open-filed and eventually available on the web.
- Continued work on data entered into the USGS National Coal Resource Data System. This work primarily is focused on getting data into the system that is in the Coal Data library and verifying data already in the system.
- Assisting in development of archival databases for collection housed at the NMBG.
- Working with webmaster to implement on line sales integration with publications database.
Areas of Interest
- Clinker deposits in the Southwest
- Humate resources of New Mexico
- Coal quality
- Fly Ash Usage in the Western US and pozzolans and SCMs use in concrete
- Coal Research, Databases, Importance of Coal in New Mexico
Recent Publications, Published Abstracts
Hoffman, G. K., and Brister, B. S., 2003, New Mexico’s Raton Basin coalbed methane play; New Mexico Geology, vol.25, no. 4, p. 95-110.
Hoffman, G.K., and Brister, B.S., November, 2004, History Of Development Of Coal And Coalbed Methane Resources Of The Raton Coalfield In New Mexico: Geological Society of America Annual Mtg.
- Brian S. Brister, Gretchen Hoffman and Thomas W. Engler, 2005, Oil and gas resource development Eastern Valle Vidal Unit: A 20 year Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario (RFDS) Carson National Forest, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Open-file report 491, 81 p. 2 appendices, GIS project, database.
- Hoffman, G.K., and Jones, G.E., 2005, Availability of coal resources in the Vermejo and Raton formations, Raton coalfield, Raton Basin, northeast New Mexico, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Open-file report 490, 48 p., 2 appendices.
- Hoffman, G.K., and Austin, G.S., 2006, Soil Amendments: in Kogel, JE. Trivedi, NC., Barker, J.M., and Krukowski, S.T., eds., .Industrial Minerals and Rocks 7th Edition, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc., Littleton, CO, p. 1477-1485.
Hoffman, G.K., 2006, Pozzolans and Supplementary Cementitious Materials: in Kogel, JE. Trivedi, NC., Barker,J.M., and Krukowski, S.T., eds., .Industrial Minerals and Rocks 7th Edition, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc., Littleton, CO, p. 1161-1172
Hoffman, G., May 2007, Environmental and economic factors influencing use of mineral admixtures in concrete over the last 25 years: Proceedings of the 43rd Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals 2007, Colorado Geological Survey, Resource Series 46 p. 301-322. .-- Abstract
Harben, P., Austin, G., Hoffman, G., McLemore, V., Caledon, M., and Barker, J., May 2007, Industrial minerals, a staple in the economy of the Land of Enchantment: Proceedings of the 43rd Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals 2007.
Coal Related Links
Coal Companies Operating Mines in New MexicoThere are now (Nov 2008) five operating coal mines in New Mexico. Two are owned by BHP Billiton, two by Peabody Energy and subsidiaries, and one by Chevron Mining. All of the coal mines are in the northwest New Mexico, in the San Juan Basin. There is one underground operation, the San Juan mine, the rest are surface operations.
- BHP Billiton- San Juan and Navajo mines, near Farmington
- Peabody Energy - Lee Ranch Coal Co.- Lee Ranch and El Segundo mines, northwest of Grants
- Chevron Mining - McKinley mine north of Gallup
Coal and Energy links on the web
- United States Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources
- Energy Information Administrations link page
- Public Service of New Mexico - Power Plants
- NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Dept., Mining and Minerals Division