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Dr. Virginia McLemore

Dr. Virginia McLemore
Principal Sr. Economic Geologist
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-6333 fax

Certified Professional Geologist #CPG-7438 (AIPG)

I am the Principal Senior Economic Geologist and Minerals Outreach Liaison for the Bureau. An economic geologist is a scientist who studies earth materials and minerals that can be used for economic and/or industrial purposes. Some of the topics an economic geologist examines are: how these minerals form, where are these natural resources found (i.e. inventory of these minerals, completing mineral-resource assessments), studies the history of mining, explores for new economic localities of these minerals, how to mine these resources, and how to reclaim these sites after mining. My job is to provide mining and minerals-related information concerning New Mexico to decision makers, general public, scientists, environmental groups, and the mining industry (including consulting firms).

Other functions of my job include:

(See Curriculum Vitae)



(also see Awards & Service)

  • Employed at NMBMMR since June 1980, tenured 1986
  • Appointed Senior Economic Geologist 1993, Principal Senior Economic Geologist 2017
  • Adjunct faculty appointment Earth and Environmental Science Department and Minerals Engineering Department, 1996-present
  • May 1979 to September 1979 Urangesellschaft, USA, Inc., Denver, CO 80222, Position: Assistant field geologist
  • July 1976 to May 1977 Tax Mapping Supervisor, Battaan Memorial Building, Santa Fe, NM (office in Socorro) Position: Draftsman - plotted tax properties for Socorro County Assessor's Office
  • From January 1976 to May 1976 Employer: NMIMT, Socorro, NM 87801 Position: Teaching assistant (taught surveying lab)
  • From July 1975 to September 1975 Employer: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Houston, TX 77001, Position: Exploration geologist


Awards & Service

  • SME 2024 Environmental Diviision Outstanding Paper Award
  • New Mexico Mining Association Hall of Fame 2023
  • SME/AIME Environmental Distinquished Service Award 2020
  • GSA fellow 2019
  • SME/AIME Environmental Stewardship Distinguished Service Award 2018

  • Association of American State Geologists (AASG) Charles J. Mankin Memorial Award 2018 for McLemore, V.T., Timmons, S., and Wilks, M., eds., 2017, Energy and Mineral deposits in New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Memoir 50 and New Mexico Geological Society, Special Publication 13
  • NMGS Life Member Award 2016

  • NMT Physical Recreation Department “Honor and Appreciation presented to Ginger and Jim McLemore for your decades of Outstanding Service and Mentorship to NMT Shooting Sports; presented by New Mexico Tech Sports Club Program April 23, 2015”

  • SME (Society Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration) Environmental Division 2014-2015 Chair Award

  • American Institute of Professional Geologists—Recognition Award for service to AIPG Annual Meeting 2008

  • New Mexico Mining Association, Appreciation Award for Teacher Mentor for the NM Mining Assocaition Teachers Workshop Dig It, 2007
  • New Mexico Mining Association, Appreciation Award for Teacher Mentor for the NM Mining Assocaition Teachers Workshop Dig It, 2006
  • Geological Society of America, Certificate of appreciation for mentor for the Roy Shlemon mentors in applied geology April 1, 2005
  • New Mexico Mining Association, Appreciation Award for Teacher Mentor for the NM Mining Assocaition Teachers Workshop Dig It, 2005
  • Utah Engineering Experiment Station, Team of Excellence Award for contributions to the Molycorp project, 2004
  • New Mexico Mining Association, Appreciation Award for service and participation at the 65th annual meeting, 2004
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists—Presidential Certificate of Merit, 2003 (dedication above and beyond the call of duty as AIPG Editor-for-Life, and for motivational efforts leading to the revitalization of the New Mexico Section)
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists, Appreciation award for Editor in 2002
  • Best Guidebook Award—Geoscience Information Society (GIS) for 2001
  • Lawton, T. F., McMillan, N. J., McLemore, V. T., Austin, G., and Barker, J. M. eds., 2001, Southwest Passage, A Trip through the Phanerozoic: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook 51
  • Best Student Paper—New Mexico Mining Association , October 1990
  • Mineralization and alterations of the Center-Carlisle mine area, Steeple Rock district, Grant County, New Mexico: Preliminary observations
  • Best Student Paper—New Mexico Mining Association , September 1992
  • Alteration and mineralization of the Steeple Rock district, New Mexico
  • Best Student Paper—New Mexico Mining Association ,October 1993
  • Geology and Geochemistry of the Mineralization and Alteration in the Steeple Rock district, New Mexico and Arizona
  • International Mining Days Scholarship—University of Texas at El Paso, 1990-1992

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE (current in bold)

  • New Mexico Geological Society
    • Secretary 2011, Treasurer 2012, Vice-president 2013, President 2014 , Past President 2015
    • Fall Field Conference Committee 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016
    • Field trip leader NMGS Fall meeting 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2012, 2020
    • Registration chairman NMGS Spring Meeting April 1989, 1990, Co-chairman 1999, 2000, 2017
  • Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
    • SME Publications Committee (now Information Publishing Comittee-1989-1993, 2010-2015)
    • Research Committee (vice chairman, 2018-2020)
    • Education Committee (vice chairman 1993-1994, chairman 1994-1997, past-chairman 1998-2000)
    • Central New Mexico Section, Program chair and Vice-president, 2002-2003; President 2003-2004
    • Environmental Division—program committee, 2002-2019, 2023-2024
    • Environmental Division Program Chairman, 2012
    • Environmental Division—Chairman 2014
    • Section editor SME journal-Mining, Mettalurgy, and Exploration, Inc. 2019-present
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists
    • New Mexico AIPG Section—executive committee, 2001-2013
    • AIPG Editor, 2001-2003, 2012-2013
    • AIPG Vice-president, 2007
    • AIPG Annual Meeting Committee, 2008
  • Society for Applied Geochemistry
    • Coming Events Editor (1996—2003)
    • Program committee, 2013-2015
  • ADTI-MMS (Acid Drainage Technology Initiative-Metals Mining Sector)
    • Chairman Sampling and monitoring committee (1998-2014)
    • Chairman of the Steering Committee (2003-2005)
  • American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation
    • Organizing committee, annual meeting, June 2001
    • National Executive Committee, 2004-2005
  • Geological Society Penrose Conferences
    • Penrose Conference on Fractures and Fluid Flow, September 1997 in New Mexico (presented a poster).
    • Penrose Conference on Anorthosites, August 1988 in Wyoming (presented a poster)
  • Judged
    • New Mexico State Science Fair (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003)
    • Regional Science Fair (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003)
    • Socorro Science Fair (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998)
    • Magdalena Fair (1993)
    • NM Junior Academy of Science Papers (2002-2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2024)

Professional Memberships

(also see Awards & Service)

  • American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)—CPG #7438 (AIPG)
  • Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
  • Geological Society of America, Fellow (GSA)
  • Association of Applied Geochemistry, Fellow (AAG)
  • Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (SME)
    • Editor-in-Chief (Exploration)—Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (MME) Journal
  • American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation (ASSMR)
  • Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA)
  • Society of Economic Geologists, Fellow (SEG)
  • American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA, formerly Northwest Mining Association)
  • New Mexico Geological Society, Life member (NMGS)
  • Member of the New Mexico Mining Commission—2015-present
  • Acid Drainage Technology Inititive—Metal Mining Sector (ADTI—MMS)—1998-present)

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6501-3457

Scopus Author

Research Gate Author