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Peter M Valley, PhD

I have expertise in geologic mapping, igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, isotope geochronology, tectonics, digital cartography, and GIS. I specialize in the mapping, structure, and tectonics of complexly deformed rocks, the integration of geologic data with hydrogeologic and mineral resource assessment studies, and the use of GIS as a mapping and analysis tool.

Current Research

I am a research geologist with the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center. I am currently working on a bedrock mapping project in the northeastern Adirondack Mountains of New York. This project is part of a multidisciplinary study to understand the origin of magnetite-apatite ore deposits. Some of the deposits contain significant quantities of rare earth elements, which are considered critical minerals by the US government.

Professional Experience

  • Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey (Current)

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Potsdam (2016–2017)

  • Sedimentologist/Petrologist, Weatherford Labs (2013-2016)

  • Field Geologist/Mapping, U.S. Geological Survey (2011-2013)

  • Field Geologist/Mapping, Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador (2009-2011)

  • Research Scientist/Lab Manager, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2004)

  • Adjunct Professor, Laramie County Community College (2003)

  • Research Technician, University of Wyoming (2001-2003)

  • Research Assistant, State University of New York at Buffalo (1999)

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Geology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2011

  • M.S. Geology, University of Minnesota, 2001

  • B.S. Geology, Castelton State College, 1999

  • National Freshman Honors Society (1995)

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists

  • Geological Association of Canada 

  • Geological Society of America 

  • Mineralogical Society of America

Honors and Awards

  • Distinction Award, PhD comprehensive exam (2005)

  • Summer Field Grant, University of Minnesota (2000)

  • Summa Cum Laude, Castleton State College (1999)

  • Presidential Scholarship Award, Castleton State College (1999)

  • Science Department Achievement Award, Castleton State College (1998)

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government