Delaware mineralogical society

A Delaware 501(c)(3) non-profit earth-science educational organization


Symposium 2017

David R. Wunsch, Ph.D., P. G.

Director & State Geologist, Delaware Geological Survey

Abstract: 'Gold and Platinum Group Metals Mines of the World'

Some old-time prospectors say that gold can be found in any stream, creek, or river. In the 21st century, however, miners and mining companies rely upon the college-educated geologist as their 'prospector'. Working with mining engineers, and experienced miners, today's seekers of economic quantities of precious metals use stratigraphy, geophysics, and other high-tech equipment and techniques that succeed.

Modern mining works best on a grand-scale. Most of the gold and platinum group metal mines are of this ilk. Dr. Wunsch will take us on a virtual tour of these multi-national, global concerns. So, hold on to your helicopter seats for a trip around the world.

The Martha Gold Mine, Waihi, New Zealand, Photo by Gold Discovery Centre

Dr. David Wunsch, DGS Director
(Photo by Andre Alexander Payne, cropped)

Official logo, the Delaware Geological Survey


David R. Wunsch joined the Delaware Geological Survey as the new Director and State Geologist in November 2011. Dr. Wunsch came to DGS from the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), where he served as the Director of Science and Technology. Wunsch was the State Geologist of New Hampshire from 2000 to 2010, where he had statutory appointments to the New Hampshire Joint Board of Geology, and the NH Water Well Board, which oversee the licensing and adjudicatory proceedings for professional geologists and licensed well drillers, respectively. He is Licensed Professional Geologist in Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Delaware. Wunsch was also an adjunct professor at the University of New Hampshire, and a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College.
Prior to his appointment as New Hampshire State Geologist, Dr. Wunsch was selected as the 1998-99 American Geological Institute Congressional Science Fellow, where he served on Capitol Hill as an advisor to the House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

Dr. Wunsch began his professional career at Central Michigan University, where he served as an instructor of geology. Between 1985 and 2000, he worked as a research hydrogeologist and ultimately became the coordinator of the Coal Field Hydrology Program at the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS). His scientific interests and areas of expertise are ground-water monitoring, aqueous geochemistry, reaction-path modelling, mine hydrology, and engineering geology.

Dr. Wunsch has served on several federal advisory committees, and study committees of the National Academy of Science, and has testified before Congress regarding national water and energy issues. In 1999, he was selected as the John Webster Foster Memorial Lecturer at Illinois State University, and was presented the 1999 Outstanding Kentucky Geologist Award by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Institute of Professional Geologists. In 2002, he was selected as a member of a delegation of U.S. scientists who took part in Presence Switzerland, which is a scientific exchange program sponsored by the Swiss Government that involved the review of Swiss renewable energy and environmental programs.

Wunsch has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Ground Water Scientists and Engineers (AGWSE), a division of NGWA, and as an associate editor of the journal Groundwater. He also has served as the Secretary of the American Geological Institute (AGI). In 2009-10, Dr. Wunsch served as President of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), which represents the chief executives of the geologic bureaus of the 50 states and U.S. Territories. Wunsch has represented AASG on the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (NACSN); and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC), and the Subcommittee on Ground Water (SOGW), both of which are under the auspices of the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI). Wunsch is a founding member of the SOGW, which is charged with developing a framework for monitoring the nation’s ground-water resources. In 2011, Dr. Wunsch was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. In 2013, Wunsch was selected as the AASG representative to the federal advisory committee that oversees the National Cooperative Geological Mapping Program (NCGMP) at the U.S. Geological Survey. His term runs through 2018. 

University of Kentucky, 1992, Ph.D., Geology, emphasis in Aqueous Geochemistry
University of Akron, Ohio, 1982, M.S., Geology, emphasis on Hydrogeology
State University of New York, 1980, B.A., Geology, Chemistry minor


Dr. David. J. Wunsch, Staff Profile, Delaware Geological Survey 
'Geosciences Gold' by Karen B. Roberts, UDaily, University of Delaware
David Wunsch, LinkedIn

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