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Staff news

Farewells and welcomes

Keith Harris, Chief of the Publication Services Section of the Minerals Information Team, retired on April 4. Keith transferred to the USGS from the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) in 1996. At the USBM, he was a physical scientist, a program analyst, and, finally, a supervisory technical publications writer and editor. At the USGS, Keith was a member of the USGS/USBM transition team and worked to smoothly and successfully transfer the publications functions of the Minerals Information Team to the USGS. We miss his can-do attitude and his great sense of humor. He was a positive force within the USGS and an inspiration to many who worked with him.

Gloria Ruggiero ( recently replaced Keith Harris as the Chief of the Publications Services Section.

Aldo Barsotti, Chief of the Industrial Minerals Section of the Minerals Information Team, retired on June 28. In 1996, Aldo transferred to the USGS from the USBM, where he had managed the Minerals Availability Program and then had led the Industrial Minerals Group. At the USGS, Aldo spearheaded innovative processes to integrate the USBM's minerals information activities into the USGS, succeeded in establishing several Government-industry agreements on collaborative activities, initiated and supported a long-term project to accurately locate all active mineral operations in the United States, and encouraged Section members to participate in the work and leadership of professional and industry associations and committees involving the USGS and other agencies. In his "retirement," Aldo will chair the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration's (SME) Industrial Minerals Division and docent at the National Air and Space Museum.

Since Aldo's retirement, Lucy McCartan ( and David Morse ( have shared responsibility as Acting Chief, Industrial Minerals Section, Minerals Information Team.

Jeff Wynn, geophysicist with the Eastern Mineral Resources Team, will be leaving the Team in early November to become the new Chief Scientist for the Volcano Hazards Team. Jeff's new home will be at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington. We wish him well, but will miss him!

Avery Drake, USGS Scientist Emeritus, joined the Eastern Mineral Resources Team. We are fortunate that Avery is continuing his affiliation with the USGS in the Minerals Program. Avery spent most of his career working in the Central Appalachians. His other field areas include the Colorado Front Range, Brazilian Shield, southern Klamath Mountains, and Antarctica.

Connie Dicken formally joined the Eastern Mineral Resources Team after working with the team as an intern. Connie is a geologist who is working on the Eastern Region Surveys and Analyses Project.

Tim Muzik recently became a permanent member of the Eastern Mineral Resources Team and the Team's new Safety and Environmental Health Officer.

Post doctoral appointments:

Andy Hunt started a two-year Mendenhall post-doc appointment with the Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team in Denver, November 2002. Andy specializes in application of noble gas geochemistry for a variety of geologic and hydrogeologic investigations. Current projects include applications of noble gas tracers to the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio, Texas, and use of cosmogenically produced 21Ne for the assessment of exposure ages in alluvial fans. Andy received his PhD from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York and is currently working with Gary Landis.

Thomas Chapin started a two-year post-doc appointment with the Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team in Denver, February, 2002. Thomas is developing a continuous in-situ Zn analyzer and water sampler for acid rock drainage monitoring. He received his PhD from the University of Washington and is working with Rich Wanty.

Andy Manning will start a two-year post-doc appointment with the Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team in Denver, October, 2002. Andy specializes in applying noble gas tracer techniques to hydrogeologic problems, particularly in mountainous terrain. He received his PhD from the University of Utah, and is working with Jonathan Caine, Gary Landis, and Rich Wanty, Lakewood.


Aldo F. Barsotti, was the recipient of this year's Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Robert W. Piekarz and Herbert C. Hoover Awards. The Piekarz Award is given by the national society and the Hoover Award is presented to a member of the Washington, DC Section of SME in recognition of outstanding leadership, professional contributions, and active support of the Section.

The Southern Appalachian: A Changing World, a video produced by Anne Tubiolo, National Park Service, and Sandy Clark, Eastern Mineral Resources Team, won two awards at the June, 2002, U.S. International Film and Video Festival in California. The video won a Silver Screen Award in the sciences, research, and exploration category and a Certificate for Creative Excellence in the general education category. The festival had 1,500 entries from 33 countries. A teacher's guide and companion brochure for the video are available on-line at:

Other news of interest

The USGS CD-ROM Aggregates Industry Atlas, produced with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, played a role in the successful rescue of nine coal miners at the Black Wolf Mine near Shanksville, Pennsylvania this summer. The CD was used to locate two nearby aggregate producers who assisted rescue efforts by providing high-capacity water pumps. Valentin Tepordei, Minerals Information Team, helped lead the effort in producing the CD.

Ivette Torres, mineral industry specialist for Cuba, and Peter Kuck, nickel commodity specialist, attended a meeting of the International Nickel Study Group in Holguin Province, Cuba, in April at the invitation of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and the International Nickel Study Group. They also toured two mining and metallurgical complexes in the Moa area — the first time U.S. technical officials have had the opportunity to do so in more than 40 years. The Cuban nickel industry accounts for 34 percent of the island's merchandise export earnings. Ivette and Peter will give a talk about the mineral economy of Cuba in the USGS Visitors Center on Tuesday, February 11, 2003.

Joseph Briskey, Charles (Skip) Cunningham, Jane Hammarstrom, Warren Nokleberg, Steven Peters, and Klaus Schulz participated in a Workshop on Assessing Undiscovered Mineral Resources in Beijing China, June 24-28, 2002. The workshop was attended by more than 30 geologists from the China Geological Survey, China Academy of Sciences, and other Chinese geological institutions. The workshop was jointly organized by the China Geological Survey (CGS) and the USGS to initiate cooperative activities for the USGS Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project (see article in this issue of the newsletter for more information about the Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project..

Robert Ayuso, Larry Drew, and Gilpin (Rob) Robinson attended and participated in a Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Arsenic in New England, May 29 - 31, 2002 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The conference focused on the risks related to exposure to arsenic in drinking water and on the significant health problems for people around the world. This problem is of particular significance in New England, where soils and water contain elevated levels of arsenic. Though exposure to arsenic has been linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and reproductive disorders, the mechanisms for disease are poorly understood. USGS attendees presented their research as posters and oral presentations. This two-and-a-half day, multidisciplinary scientific conference provided participants with an overview of new findings by researchers from a wide array of disciplines, from geology to molecular biology. Presentations and discussions focused on arsenic's natural occurrence in ground water, controls on the mobility of arsenic in ground water, mechanisms of action as a toxin, effects on human health, environmental impact and movement through ecosystems, and regulation and remediation strategies. Abstracts were published on line:

Earl Brooks, Minerals Information Team, and Jason Willett, Eastern Energy Resources Team, taught a geology class at George Mason University for approximately 20 local law enforcement officers. The class, offered through the Continuing Education Program, fulfills the officers science requirement for an Administration of Justice degree.

Belinda Arbogast, Central Mineral Resources Team, will be a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado School of Architecture and Planning. She will discuss her work on perceptions and methods of visual resource management for the mining industry with a graduate-level visual quality assessment class. Belinda discuss the need for scientifically determining how much a landscape is visually impacted by human land disturbances, review aesthetics through the ages, present various visual assessment methodologies, and the lack of unified theory or terminology.

Minerals News from across the USGS

Minerals News from across the USGS

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