2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 10-12
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM-11:00 AM

PEACE CORPS: TECHNICAL AID BY AND TRAINING GROUND FOR GEOLOGISTS

FAKUNDINY, Robert H., New York State Geological Survey/State Museum, 3140 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230, rfakundi@mail.nysed.gov.

Peace Corps geologists (PCVG) have provided host countries (HC) with mineral exploration as in the Ghana III program in the 1960s, regional quadrangle mapping as in Honduras in the 1960s and 1970s, increased groundwater use as in the sub-Sahara of West Africa in the 1990s, and many related services. These projects aided the economic development of the HCs while serving as training grounds for the professional development of volunteers. The potential success of future geologic projects could be increased by a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) support system for the volunteers in the field.

Many PCVGs received valuable training and experience during their tours of duty by working with HC geologists, expatriate geologists, and colleague PCVGs. Inexperienced volunteers in the Ghana III program, such as myself, had added tutelage from seasoned professional geologists and professors on leave from their universities. The experience of performing professional geologic projects in exotic foreign settings has been invaluable to those of us who have continued to work in other countries or who need to have a knowledge of global geology in our endeavors here at home. Most of us had little library research or equipment support from geologists back home. Such support systems would have aided us greatly in performing our duties.

More and larger geologic programs probably would be welcomed in HCs, but the current National Peace Corps administration does not appear to be able to support the PCVG at levels that would ensure successful results. RPCV geologists and colleagues could provide some of that needed extra support through international programs within U.S. and international geological societies, and through RPCV chapters in the volunteer’s home region. Geological projects of the Peace Corps have been beneficial to both the HC and the PCVG, so why not increase the geological program of the National Peace Corps? Current graduates in geology are finding sparse employment opportunities. The Peace Corps may provide a form of postgraduate training that serves a variety of needs for the HC and the PCVG.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Session No. 10
Geologists in the U.S. Peace Corps: The Contribution of Peace Corps Geologists to International Development and the Contribution of the Peace Corps Experience to the Development of the Geosciences in America
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 400
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Sunday, November 2, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 39

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