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Dr. John W. Hawley

John W. Hawley
Emeritus - Senior Environmental Geologist
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
NM Institute of Mining & Technology
1015 Tijeras Avenue NW, Suite 200
Albuquerque NM 87102-2909


  • Hanover College, Indiana, B.A., cum laude, Geology, 1954
  • University of Illinois-Urbana, Ph.D., Geology, 1962

Career Highlights


Entry-level professional activity, interrupted by overseas military service with U.S. Army-Corps of Engineers (1955-1956), included employment with the U.S. Geological Survey, Illinois Geological Survey, Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, and Desert Research Institute. Ph.D. research (1959-1962) on Quaternary and groundwater geology of the Humboldt River basin in Nevada. Project Leader (1962-1977) of USDA-Soil Conservation Service-Soil Survey projects at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Texas Tech University, and Regional Technical Service Centers in Fort Worth, TX and Portland, OR.  Emphasis was on geologic, soil-geomorphologic, and hydrogeologic interrelationships in arid and semiarid regions, including collaboration with state and other federal agencies in the USA and Mexico.


NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources (NMBGMR now NMBGMR), a division of the NM Institute of Mining & Technology (NM Tech).  Primary responsibilities involved development and management of the Bureau's research and public service program in environmental geology. Initiated cooperative programs in environmental geology with Los Alamos National Laboratory (1985-1993) and the All Indian Pueblo Council–Pueblo Office of Environmental Protection (1993-1997). Organized and managed the Bureau of Geology Albuquerque Office (1991-1997), which specializes in the hydrogeology of basin-fill aquifer systems, environmental geology (including geologic-hazard and waste-management assessments), and geologic mapping.


Emeritus Senior Environmental Geologist with the Bureau involved in digital mapping of the State’s landforms and surficial geology. Graduate Faculty Adjunct in the NM Tech—Earth & Environmental Science Department. Adjunct Curator in the NM Museum of Natural History & Science—Science Division.  Senior Hydrogeologist at the Water Resources Research Institute (NMWRRI) and Adjunct Professor of Geological Sciences at NMSU. Specific NMWRRI projects include: 1) Research on  Trans-boundary Aquifers of the New Mexico–Chihuahua region (Co-PI: 1998-2000 USEPA Interagency Contract) that developed basin-scale hydrogeologic-framework models of groundwater-flow systems; 2) studies of Transboundary basin-fill aquifer systems of the southern NM border region (Co-PI: 2002-), with partial support from the NM Interstate Stream Commission, USEPA, USGS, and NSF-SAHRA-CEACREST glue-grants; 3) US BOR-funded study (Co-PI: 2004-2005) of irrigation-canal seepage losses in the Arch-Hurley Conservancy District (Conchas-Canadian river basin); and 4) development of new digital hydrogeologic models of aquifer systems in the Mesilla Basin-Paso del Norte area with the El Paso Water Utilities staff.

Dr. Hawley has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications** on the environmental geology, hydrogeology, and geomorphology of arid and semi-arid lands in western North America. Honors for published research and scientific-community service include awards from the Geological Society of America (the 1983 Kirk Bryan Award for desert soil-geomorphic research***, the 2005 Engineering Geology Div. Distinguished Practice Award, and the 2006 Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Div. Distinguished Career Award), American Association for the Advancement of Science (1987 Certificate of Merit for Arid Zone Research), State Commission on Higher Education (1989 NM Eminent Scholar), and the US Geological Survey-NM District (1998). 

Other professional activities and honors include: NM Water Conference Advisory Committee; Past President and Honorary Member of the NM Geological Society, and co-dedicatee of the NMGS 50th Annual Field Conference Guidebook on "Albuquerque Geology" (1999); Hanover College Alumni Achievement Award for “outstanding career contributions to the science of geology” (2001); Amer. Inst. of Professional Geologists-NM Section (2002), and recipient of the AIPG Presidential Award of Merit (2003); co-recipient of the NM Earth Science Achievement Award (2005) for” outstanding contributions in areas of applied science and education;” Dedicatee of the NM Museum of Natural History Bulletin No. 28: New Mexico’s Ice Ages (**Love 2005, Hawley 2005); and University of Illinois-Geology Alumni Achievement Award (2006).

Selected Publications

  1. Connell, S.D., Hawley, J.W., and Love, D.W., 2005, Late Cenozoic drainage development in the southeastern Basin and Range of New Mexico, southeasternmost Arizona and western Texas, in Lucas, S. G., Morgan, G., and Zeigler, K.E., eds., 2005, New Mexico’s Ice Ages: New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin No. 28, p. 125-150.
  2. Gile, L.H. and Hawley, J.W., 1966, Periodic sedimentation and soil formation on an alluvial-fan piedmont in southern New Mexico: Soil Science Society of America Proceedings, v. 30, p. 261-268.
  3. Gile, L.H., Hawley, J.W., and Grossman, R.B., 1981, Soils and geomorphology in the Basin and Range area of southern New Mexico—Guidebook to the Desert Project: NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Memoir 39, 222 p. (1983 GSA Kirk Bryan Award recipients***)
  4. Gile, L. H., Hawley, J. W., Grossman, R. B., Monger, H. C., Montoya, C. E., and Mack, G. H., 1995, Supplement to the Desert Project Guidebook, with emphasis on soil micromorphology: NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 142, 96 p.
  5. Hawley, J.W., 1969, Notes on the geomorphology and late Cenozoic geology of northwestern Chihuahua:  N. M. Geological Society Guidebook 20, p. 131-142.
  6. Hawley, J.W., compiler, 1978, Guidebook to Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico and Colorado:  NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Circular 163, 241 p.
  7. Hawley, J.W., 1986, Physiographic provinces [and] landforms of New Mexico, in Williams, J.L., ed., New Mexico in Maps (2nd edition): The University of New Mexico Press, p. 23-31.
  8. Hawley, J.W., 1993, The Ogallala and Gatuña Formations in the southeastern New Mexico region: NM Geological Society Guidebook 44, p. 261-269.
  9. Hawley, J.W., 2005, Five million years of landscape evolution in New Mexico: An overview based on two centuries of geomorphic conceptual-model development, in Lucas, S.G., et al., eds., New Mexico’s Ice Ages: New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin No. 28, p. 9-93.
  10. Hawley, J.W., and Kennedy, J.F., 2004, Creation of a digital hydrogeologic framework model of the Mesilla Basin and southern Jornada del Muerto Basin: N. M. Water Resources Research Institute, NMSU; prepared for Lower Rio Grande Water Users Organization; Technical Completion Report 332, 105 p., with CD ROM including 2005 Addendum extending model into Rincon Valley and adjacent areas.
  11. Hawley, J.W., and Kernodle, J.M., 2000, Overview of the hydrogeology and geohydrology of the northern Rio Grande basin—Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, in Proceedings of the 44th Annual New Mexico Water Conference:  NM Water Resources Research Institute, Rpt. 312, p. 79-102.
  12. Hawley, J.W., and Kernodle, J.M., 2008, Early contributions to arid-zone hydrogeology in the eastern Basin and Range region: Ground Water, v. 46, no. 3, p. 510-516.
  13. Hawley, J.W. and Longmire, P.A., 1992, Perspectives on waste disposal in arid lands: Site characterization and selection, in Reith, C.C. and Thomson, B.M., eds., Deserts as Dumps?  The disposal of hazardous materials in arid ecosystems:  Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, p. 57-99.
  14. Hawley, J.W. and Love, D.W., 1981, Overview of geology as related to environmental concerns in New Mexico, in Wells, S.G., and Lambert, W., eds., Environmental Geology and Hydrology in New Mexico: N.M. Geological Society, Special Publication 10, p. 1-10.
  15. Hawley, J.W. and Love, D.W., 1991, Quaternary and Neogene landscape evolution: A transect across the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Provinces in west-central and central New Mexico: N. M. Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Bulletin 137, p. 105-148.
  16. Hawley, J.W. and Wilson, W.E., III, 1965, Quaternary geology of the Winnemucca area, Nevada: Desert Research Institute, Univ. of Nevada, Technical Report 5, 66 p.
  17. Hawley, J.W., Bachman, G.O., and Manley, K., 1976, Quaternary stratigraphy of Basin and Range and Great Plains provinces, New Mexico and Western Texas; in Mahaney, W.C., ed., Quaternary Stratigraphy of North America: Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Stoudsburg, PA, p. 235-274.
  18. Hawley, J.W., Haase, C.S., and Lozinsky, R.P., 1995, An underground view of the Albuquerque Basin, New Mexico, in Proceedings of the 39th Annual New Mexico Water Conference, NM Water Resources Research Institute, Rpt. 290, p. 37-55.
  19. Hawley, J.W., Kennedy, J.F., and Creel, B.J., 2001, The Mesilla Basin aquifer system of New Mexico, West Texas and Chihuahua—an overview of its hydrogeolgic framework and related aspects of groundwater flow and chemistry, in Aquifers of West Texas: Texas Water Development Board Report 356,  p. 76-99.
  20. Hawley, J.W., McCraw, D.J., Love, D.W., and Connell, S.D., 2005, Map of surficial materials of New Mexico [with emphasis on major Quaternary and Pliocene units]:  New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources, Open-File Report 462, scale 1:500,000, available on CD-ROM.
  21. Hawley, J.W., Kottlowski, F.E., Strain, W.S., Seager, W.R., King, W.E., and LeMone, D.V., 1969, The Santa Fe Group in the south-central New Mexico border region: NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Circular 104, p. 52-76.
  22. Hawley, J.W., Hibbs, B.J., Kennedy, J. F., Creel, B.J., Remmenga, M.D., Johnson, M., Lee, M. M., and Dinterman, P., 2000, Trans-International Boundary aquifers in southwestern New Mexico: N. M. Water Resources Research Institute; prepared for USEPA-Region 6 and USIBWC; Technical Completion Report—Interagency Contract X-996350-01-3, 126 p.
  23. King, W.E., Hawley, J.W., Taylor, A., and Wilson, R., 1971, Geology and ground-water resources of central and western Doña Ana County, New Mexico:  NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Hydrologic Report 1, 64 p.
  24. Love, D.W., 2005, Dedication to John Hawley, in Lucas, S. G., et al., eds., 2005, New Mexico’s Ice Ages: New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin No. 28, p. 1-8.
  25. Lucas, S. G., and Hawley, J. W., 2002, The Otero Formation, Pleistocene lacustrine strata in the Tularosa Basin, southern New Mexico: N. M. Geological Soc. Guidebook 53, p. 277-283.
  26. Pazzaglia, F.J., and Hawley, J.W., 2004, Neogene (rift flank) and Quaternary geology and geomorphology; in Mack, G.H., and Giles, K.J., eds., The Geology of New Mexico: A geologic history: New Mexico Geological Society, Special Publication 11, p. 407-438.
  27. Popp, C.J., Hawley, J.W., Love, D.W., and Dehn, M., 1988, Use of radiometric Cs-137, Pb-210, geomorphic, and stratigraphic techniques to date recent oxbow sediments in the Rio Puerco drainage, Grants Uranium region, New Mexico: Environmental Geology and Water Science, v. 11, no. 3, p. 253-269.
  28. Sandor, J.A., Hawley, J. W., Schiowitz, R.H., and Gersper, P.L., 2008, Soil-geomorphic setting and change in prehistoric agricultural terraces in the Mimbres area, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook 59, p. 167-175.
  29. Seager, W.R., Hawley, J.W., Kottlowski, F.E., and Kelley, S.A., 1987, Geology of east half of Las Cruces and northeast El Paso 1o x 2o sheets, New Mexico: NM Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources Geologic Map 57, scale: 1:125,000.