Vice President of Research
Contact Information for Dr. Nelia Dunbar
Mailing Address:Dr. Nelia Dunbar Office for Research - West Hall New Mexico Tech 801 Leroy Place Socorro, NM 87801 E-mail: Nelia.Dunbar@nmt.edu Phone: 575-835-5646
Dr. Nelia Dunbar serves as chief official of the New Mexico Tech Research Division responsible for the encouragement, leadership, and support of research at the Institute and for the administrative and policy making activities of the division; offers dynamic research and administrative leadership to stimulate, coordinate, and provide support for the research at New Mexico Tech; acts as advocate for research within the Institute.
She also serves as director of the New Mexico Bureay of Geology and Mineral Resources; manages the research support functions of the Research Division; serves as the Institute's representative and on-campus administrator for the Waste-Management Education and Research Consortium.
Dunbar acts as an external advocate and representative for New Mexico Tech's research activities; serves as mentor to new faculty to help them establish their research programs at the Institute; strongly encourages diversity and affirmative action; identifies research opportunities and actively encourages development of interdisciplinary research at the institute; ensures that high quality proposals are submitted by the Institute.
- PhD - Geochemistry, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1989
Dissertation: Investigation of volatile contents and degassing systematics of rhyoltic magmas from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand.
- MS - Geology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1985
- BA - Geology, Mount Holyoke College, 1983
Overall GPA 3.76 GPA in geology 3.90
Honors thesis: Mineralogical and geochemical investigation of Cascade Range tephra.
- New Mexico Tech Distinguished Research Award (2021)
- Five College Distinguished Lecturer in Geology (2019)
- Geological Society of America Fellow (elected 2014)
- New Mexico Geological Society Honorary Member (elected 2014)
- Mary Lyon Scholar ("outstanding young alumna", Mt. Holyoke College, awarded 1998)
- Sarah Williston Scholar (top 15% of class after sophomore year)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Sigma Xi
Professional Memberships and Service
- American Assocation of University Women
- American Geophysical Union
- Association of American State Geologists (secretary 2018- )
- Geological Society of America (GSA)
- GSA Academic & Applied Geoscience Relations Committee (member 2019- )
- International Women's Forum- New Mexico chapter member (elected 2020)
- Microbeam Analysis Society
- National Academy of Science Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (member 2019- )
- National Academy of Science America's Geoheritage Workshop II committee (member 2020-2021)
- New Mexico Geological Society Executive Committee (2009-2013)
- New Mexico Geological Society (member since 1983, elected honorary lifetime member 2014)
- New Mexico Tech Comprehensive Campaign Cabinet Co-Chair (2020- )
- New Mexico Tech Foundation Board Member (2021- )
- University of Maine External Graduate Faculty Member (2016-2026)
Magma Chamber Processes
- Volatiles in magmas
- Magmatic evolution
- Crystallization processes in melts
- Volatile migration in magmas and ore deposits
Element mobility in low temperature aqueous processes
Tephrochronology in Antarctica and New Mexico
- Tephras in Antarctic blue ice- Allan Hills
- Tephra and climate record of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
- Mount Moulton
- Tephra record in Antarctic Ice Cores
- Tephras in Rio Grande Rift sediments of New Mexico
- Volcanic Ash Record in the Siple Dome Ice Core
Surface-exposure dating of young lava flows
Director and State Geologist/Adjunct Faculty: Oct. 2016-present. New Mexico Bureau
of Geology and Mineral Resources/ Earth and Environmental Science Department, New
Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Oversight of research and service activities for the New Mexico state geological survey. Represent the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources at the state legislature, to other state agencies, and at national meeting. Act as advisor for the electron microprobe laboratory, and carry out limited research.
Director and State Geologist, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources:
Geochemist/Adjunct Faculty: Aug. 1992-Oct. 2016. New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and Earth and Environmental Science Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Research on a volcanology, igneous petrology, and economic geology, particularly on tephrochronology and New Mexico and Antarctica, as well as on magmatic processes. Manager of the NMBG Cameca SX-100 electron microprobe facility.
Antarctic Researcher: Numerous seasons (1983/84; 1984/85; 1985/86; 1987/88; 1988/89;
1989/90; 1990/91, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03,
2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2018/19).
Volcanological field work in various parts of Antarctica, as field assistant, graduate researcher, or principal investigator. Work mainly included mapping recent volcanic rocks and measuring volatile outputs of an active volcano.
Adjunct Faculty Member: 1995-present. Earth and Environmental Science Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Research Associate: March, 1991-Aug. 1992. Oak Ridge National Labs.
Petrology and gas geochemistry of In Situ Vitrification project.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate: Sept., 1988-Feb, 1991. New Mexico Institute of Mining
Research on volatile contents and gradients in the Bishop and Bandelier Tuffs and Taupo Ignimbrite. Supported by the National Science Foundation grants.
Field Assistant: Summer, 1985. Inyo domes drilling project.
Core logging on a young obsidian dome.
X-Ray Lab Technician: Summer, 1984. New Mexico Bureau of Mining and Mineral Resources.
Preparing and analyzing standards for x-ray fluorescence and diffraction.
Petrology Internship: Summer, 1983. Chevron Oil Field Research Company, La Habra,
Preparing and analyzing standards for x-ray diffraction.