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Ryan J McAleer, PhD

Ryan J McAleer is a Research Geologist at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center.

I am a Research Geologist at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center in Reston, VA. I received a PhD in Geology from Indiana University in 2016. I currently run the 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, electron microprobe, and mineral separation laboratories in Reston, VA. I contribute to National Cooperative Geologic Mapping, Energy, and Mineral program projects as well as collaborative work with universities. I use detailed optical and electron petrography, metamorphic petrology, 40Ar/39Ar and U/Pb geochronology, and a variety of other analytical tools in my research. Some current research projects that I am a part of include work on: 

  • Determining the age of bedrock beneath the coastal plain of the southeastern U.S. 
  • Assessing the age and deformation mechanisms along the Blue Ridge Thrust
  • The age(s) of the Petersburg Granite 
  • Causes and uses of photoluminesence in zircon
  • Coupled substitution in sphalerite with a focus on germanium 
  • The age and origin of manganese oxide deposits in Virginia.

Professional Experience

  • 2016-present, Research Geologist, USGS, Reston, VA

  • 2011-2015, Graduate Student, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

  • 2011-2015, SCEP/Pathways student appointment, USGS, Reston, VA

  • 2007-2010, Geologist, USGS, Reston, VA

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Metamorphic Petrology, Indiana University, 2016 (Advisor: Bob Wintsch)

  • M.S. Geology, 2006 (Advisor: Jim Spotila)

  • B.S. Geology, 2004 (Senior Thesis Advisor: Terry Engelder)

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • 2016-present, Mineralogical Society of America

  • 2011-present, Geological Society of America

  • 2019-present, Microscopy Society of America/Microanalysis Society

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

**Disclaimer: The views expressed in Non-USGS publications are those of the author and do not represent the views of the USGS, Department of the Interior, or the U.S. Government.