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Mapping Program welcomes new surficial geologist

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Dr. Kevin Hobbs leads a field trip to San Ysidro, New Mexico.
Courtesy of Kevin Hobbs

Socorro, NM
— June 12, 2020

The Bureau of Geology welcomes Dr. Kevin Hobbs, who joins the Geologic Mapping Program as the new surficial field geologist and mapper. Dr. Hobbs has an extensive background in Cenozoic geology (65 million years ago to present time), soil formation processes, sedimentology and tectonics, and paleoclimate.

“I am happy to be part of the Bureau’s mapping program and its enviable legacy of high-impact, relevant map products that serve the needs of the public,” said Dr. Hobbs.

Having received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, Dr. Hobbs is very familiar with the New Mexico landscape and underlying geology. For his dissertation, Dr. Hobbs studied Cretaceous-Paleogene 66-64 million-year-old river systems in the San Juan basin in the northwestern part of the state. He linked the soils and sediments preserved in the basin to the river depositional processes that created them.

This previous experience allows Dr. Hobbs to dive headfirst into his position with the Bureau. “My dissertation research marked the beginning for me of what is now a ten-year-long immersion in New Mexico geology,” said Dr. Hobbs. “I feel that my familiarity with the history, landscapes, literature, and researchers in New Mexico geology will allow me to hit the ground running with the Bureau.”

Indeed, in this first-year Dr. Hobbs will focus on a mapping project in the San Juan basin, visiting previous field sights and exploring the older rocks he did not have a chance to study during his doctoral research.

After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Hobbs became an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico-Valencia, where he taught introductory geoscience courses and was active in informal science education opportunities, teaching Master Naturalist classes and leading field trips.

Dr. Hobbs intends to remain involved in education in his position with the Bureau, “Teaching takes many forms, and I especially value the informal educational opportunities afforded by our field. The potential to be involved with the Bureau of Geology’s Rockin’ Around New Mexico program was a wonderful additional draw to this job for me.”

Dr. Hobbs’s previous experience using many pathways of investigation to solve geologic problems makes him an excellent fit for the mapping group.

“I’m delighted to have Kevin join the Bureau of Geology as one of our surficial field geologists. His experience in working with desert soils and basin fill deposits in a variety of settings in New Mexico will nicely complement our focused work in the Rio Grande and San Juan basin projects in the STATEMAP Program,” said Dr. J. Michael Timmons, Bureau Deputy Director and Program Manager of the Geologic Mapping Program. “I am also looking forward to following his research in selected basins of New Mexico as he and other colleagues work to decipher the rich geologic history preserved in rocks and deposits in New Mexico’s enchanted landscapes.”