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Dr. Jacob Thacker

Dr. Jacob Thacker
Field 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

I am a Field Geologist in the mapping program interested in intracontinental tectonism in the interior western USA. My geologic passion is the Cretaceous–Paleogene Laramide orogeny of the Rocky Mountain and Colorado Plateau regions. I also have experience working on Miocene–Recent inboard San Andreas transtension and its influence on evolution of the Colorado River system. My newest interest involves active extension in south-central Wyoming that might be related to Rio Grande rift extension here in New Mexico.

Methodologically, I like to integrate diverse datasets and tools to decipher local to large scale geology through space and time. The main methods I have used thus far are geometric and kinematic structural analysis, thermochronology, field mapping, and structural and mineralogical fault/fracture characterization. All aspects of geology intrigue me, and I enjoy immersing myself in many different types of rocks, geologic settings, and new methods.

Outreach, science communication, and teaching are also very important to me. I have taken part in field-based education for the Yellowstone Forever Institute, written geology articles for a small magazine in Bozeman, MT, and wrote and edited geologic signage and information as a Geoscientist-In-the-Park intern in Yellowstone. I look forward to expanding this work into the geology of New Mexico.

(See Curriculum Vitae)


Ph.D., 2020 – University of New Mexico
"Integrated studies of intracontinental deformation in the interior western USA, Cretaceous to Recent"

M.Sc., 2014 – Montana State University
"Structural and mineralogic characerization of the South Prairie fault in the Stillwater Complex, Beartooth Mountains, Montana"

B.Sc., 2011 – Cleveland State University


2020–present: Field Geologist, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources
2016–2020: Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, University of New Mexico
2017–2018: USGS Intern/NSF Graduate Student Preparedness Fellow
July 2016: Field Instructor, “Roadside Geology of Yellowstone”; Yellowstone Forever Institute
2016: Geoscientist-In-the-Parks intern; Yellowstone N.P.
2014–2015: Project Geologist/Core Logger; Childs Geoscience, Inc./Stillwater Mining Company
2013–2014: Information/Sales Associate, Yellowstone Association (Bozeman and Earthquake Lake)
2011–2014: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Montana State University
2010–2011: Undergraduate Lab Assistant, Cleveland State University
2010–2011: Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, Cleveland State University


  • Intracontinental tectonism of contractional, extensional, and strike slip tectonic settings
    • Laramide orogeny (Cretaceous–Paleogene)
    • Extension in WY, CO, UT, NM (Miocene–Present)
    • Inboard San Andreas transtension, lower Colorado River (Miocene–Recent)
  • Field-based structural geology and tectonics
  • Application and integration of thermochronology, basin analysis, and geochronology to structural and tectonic problems