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Meet W Dan Hausel

Page history last edited by danhausel 14 years, 3 months ago

Meet W. Dan Hausel, former Senior Economic Geologist, Wyoming State Geological Survey

This honorium was modified from Wyoming Geonotes 64.


W. Dan Hausel handles investigations related to gemstones, precious metals, base metals, and Precambrian and igneous geology. Each year he receives hundreds of inquiries from the general public and industry for information about various mineral resources.


Dan earned a BS in Geology in 1972 and an MS in geology in 1974 from the University of Utah. While at the university, he was a Research Assistant in igneous petrology and completed projects related to volcanic rocks in southern Utah, as well as on lunar samples from several of the Apollo programs. While at the university, he also worked as an astronomy lecturer at the Hansen Planetarium.


He first came to Wyoming as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Casper and later joined the Wyoming State Geological Survey in 1977. At various times in his career, Dan has also worked as a consultant in gold and diamond exploration for a number of companies, including Echo Bay, Bald Mountain Mining, A & E Resources, Chevron Resources, Western Gold Exploration and Mining, Western Archon, and others.


His first project at the WSGS was mapping the Wyoming portion of the Colorado-Wyoming State Line district. According to Dan, some memorable experiences occurred during this project. "I especially remember mapping in late November and finally stopping due to the intense Wyoming winds. I measured my incline with a Bruton compass at 35° into the wind before I fell over."


By the time this project was completed, Dan had mapped 20 diamondiferous kimberlites – nine of which were discovered by him. Since then, he has developed an international reputation as an exploration geologist by finding more kimberlites, gold, gemstones and other mineral resources, writing more than 450 regional and international papers, presenting more than 350 lectures and field trips, and spear-heading exploration programs for some private companies outside of Wyoming.


His work on precious metals has been rewarding. In 1981, his research initiated one of the largest gold rushes in Wyoming since the early 1900s. After his discovery of several quartz-vein samples with visible gold in the Seminoe Mountains, it was impossible to get a room in Saratoga, Rawlins, or Sinclair, as they were filled with geologists. Another memorable discovery occurred in the Rattlesnake Hills in the same year, when he found significant gold associated with pyritiferous metachert at what he aptly named the Lost Muffler prospect. Soon after the announcement, a local consulting geologist staked the area and ACNC, Canyon Resources, and Newmont Gold followed with exploration programs. It is now believed more than a million ounces of gold were outlined by the drilling programs (Dave Miller, personal communication, 1999). More recently, Dan made a discovery of highly anomalous platinum, palladium, nickel, cobalt, gold, and silver associated with copper at the Puzzler Hill peridotite along the northeastern flank of the Encampment district in the Sierra Madre.


Twice nominated for the Dibblie Mapping Award, Dan has mapped more than 700 mi2 of complex Precambrian terrain in Wyoming. He mapped the South Pass and Seminoe Mountains greenstone belts, the Copper Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, Iron Mountain, State Line, Sheep Rock, and Cooper Hill districts, and more than three dozen underground gold and copper mines in the South Pass, Copper Mountain, Cooper Hill, Centennial Ridge, and Silver Crown districts. Along with being a successful exploration and research geologist, Dan is a prolific writer. Some recent books include Wyoming State Geological Survey Bulletin 71, "Gemstones and other Unique Minerals and Rocks of Wyoming – a Field Guide for Collectors", a 267-page book written with co-author Wayne Sutherland (Figure 2), “Diamond Deposits-History, Exploration and Discovery” written with Co-Author Edward Erlich and published by SME, and he is currently is working on another book, “Geology of Gemstone Deposits: Mineralogy, Exploration and Occurrence”, scheduled to be published by SME in 2005.


In 1992, he was awarded AAPG’s Energy Mineral's Division President's Award and the Wyoming Geological Association's Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Endeavors and Contributions. In 1994, he was honored as a Distinguished Lecturer on diamonds by the Laramie Lyceum, and by the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics in 1998. He also received the Prospector's Best Friend Award from the Rocky Mountain Prospector's & Treasure Hunters in 1998, and was awarded honorary lifetime memberships in the RMPTH and also in the Wyoming State Mineral and Gem Society for his contributions to the promotion of the state's mineral resources and prospecting. His contributions have been highlighted in Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World, Who’s Who in the 21st Century, 2000 Notable American Men, 5000 Personalities of the World, and several others. Due to the efforts of various gem, mineral and rock hound groups and societies in the State, Dan was one of seven people inducted into the 2001 National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the American Biographical Institute’s Millennium Hall of Fame in 1998.


Dan relaxes away from work by sketching and teaching martial arts at UW (see http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/clubsports/).


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