2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 10-2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM-8:30 AM

THE GHANA GEOLOGISTS PEACE CORPS PROJECT, 1963-65

LEVICH, Robert A., 405 Norwood Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89107, bob_levich@ymp.gov, KENDALL, Ernest, 1606 Rustic Lane, Seabrook, TX 77586, and FAKUNDINY, Robert H., 3288 River Road 9J, Renssalaer, NY 12144

In 1962, the Government of Ghana requested the U.S Peace Corps provide geologists to aid its national development program. Besides providing Ghana an opportunity to send its geologists for graduate education, this request was partly a “Cold War” counterbalance to the large, expensive, contracted Soviet geologic team mapping and prospecting for minerals in northern Ghana.

In January 1963, the Peace Corps responded by transferring two geologists, already serving as science teachers, to the Ghana Geological Survey (GGS). By May, ten additional Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) geologists, trained at the University of Oklahoma, arrived in Ghana, and in October, eleven more PCV geologists joined the GGS, after training at UC Berkeley. Dr. Olcott Gates was recruited from Johns Hopkins University as Field Officer for the 23 PC geologists.

Seventeen geologists were assigned to evaluate mineral prospects, including gold, diamonds, bauxite, Nb/Ta, Li, Co/Ni and Mo. Four PCVs studied significant structural and stratigraphic problems by geologic mapping and geochemistry and two managed the X-ray diffraction, petrography and mineral dressing laboratories at GGS headquarters. The PCV geologists directed and managed field parties (some with more than 100 technical staff and laborers), collected data and prepared maps and reports. Several had serious illnesses and three were in a train/jeep collision, however, all completed their service in relatively good health.

Dr. Gates supplemented the limited professional supervision provided by GGS staff. Commendably, 22 PCV geologists completed and professionally documented their GGS projects and one transferred and completed his tour with the Malawi Geological Survey, a 100% completion rate. Several later returned to the GGS as expatriate geologists. Notably, 17 have continued as professional geoscientists for most of their careers, two have careers in local government, two in management/professional positions and two have not been located. All consider their Peace Corps experience a milestone in their professional and personal lives.

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. 38

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