Brian N Shaffer, PG

Brian N. Shaffer, P.G. is a Geologist Supervisor with the USGS and the Project Chief of the U.S. Coal Resources and Reserves Assessment Project.  Utilizing his 26+ years of experience as a geologist in the coal industry, he leads the Project's research efforts to determine the quantity, quality, location, and accessibility of the Nation’s remaining recoverable coal resources and reserves.  

Biography

Career History:

Since January, 2016, Brian has been the Project Chief for the U.S. Coal Resources and Reserves Assessment Project.  As a Geologist Supervisor, he leads a team of three full time employees (two coal geologists and one mining engineer) and several part time employees in assessing the coal resources and reserves of the United States.  Currently, the U.S. Coal Resources and Reserves Assessment Project is conducting assessment studies in the Greater Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming and northwestern Colorado.  Members of his team are also actively researching geostatistical methods for quantifying geological uncertainty between drill holes, as well as utilizing geostatistical methods to develop equations to predict values for certain coal quality parameters. 

 

Previously, Brian was the Senior Manager Geology of the Northern Appalachian Region (NAPP) for Alpha Natural Resources.  He began his career in 1989 as a geology co-op student for Cyprus Coal Company at Emerald Mine in Waynesburg, PA.  Hired as a full time geologist by Cyprus in 1990, Brian worked at Emerald Mine and Cumberland Mine, in Greene County, PA, where he acquired extensive experience in defining, mapping, and interpreting underground geologic conditions and ground control issues associated with longwall coal mining operations.  Brian was also involved in the exploration and geologic mapping of the Upper Freeport, Greene Hill, and Greene Manor reserve blocks in Greene County for Cyprus-Amax and Foundation Coal Companies.  As Senior Manager Geology, Brian supervised a team of three geologists that managed exploration and geologic mapping activities, conducted reserve assessments, and modeled geologic and coal quality trends for the Emerald and Cumberland longwall deep mines, as well as for Amfire Mining, which produced both thermal and metallurgical coal from numerous underground and surface mines in central Pennsylvania.  He has over 26 years of experience as a geologist in the coal industry and has worked in underground coal mines in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.    

 

Brian has worked as a part time instructor for Waynesburg University, where he taught physical geology courses.  He also has worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Geography and Geology at West Virginia University.

 

Professional Accomplishments:

--Registered professional geologist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

--Certified mine examiner in the Commonwealth of PA.

--Certified MSHA instructor for underground hazard recognition training.

--Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME)

--Member of the Pittsburgh Section of SME, serving on the Section's Board of Directors from 2003 through 2009.  Secretary of the Pittsburgh Section from 2009-2010 and Treasurer from 2011-2012.  Chairman of the Pittsburgh Section of SME in 2013-2014 and Past Chair in 2015-2016.   Transferred to the Colorado Section of SME in 2016.  

--Pittsburgh Section Distinguished Member in 2015. 

--Received the 2010 SME GEM Individual Award for mining and mineral education outreach activities.

--Member of the SME Advisory Panel that assisted in the development of the Mining In Society merit badge for the Boy Scouts of America.

--Currently serving on the SME Coal & Energy Division’s membership committee and has recently been nominated to serve on the Coal & Energy Division’s Executive Committee, beginning in 2018.

--Served on the Annual Joint Meeting Committee, which organizes the Annual Joint Meeting of the Pittsburgh Section of SME and the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America (PCMIA) from 2006 through 2015.  He was the treasurer for the Annual Joint Meeting from 2009 through 2015 and has been a session chair and co-chair at the meeting. 

--Member of the Geological Society of America (GSA), serving on the Geology in Industry mentoring panel.

--Member of the Denver Coal Club.     

 

Education:

Juniata College - B.S. Degree in Geology in 1988.

West Virginia University - M.S. Degree in Geology in 1992.  Thesis research: Geology and depositional environment of the Upper Freeport coal bed in northeastern Greene County, PA. 

Academic interests include historical geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, coal geology, and paleoclimates.