2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Paper No. 10-4
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM-9:00 AM


ELROD, Dennis D., Elrod & Assoc, 1430 Monaco Pkwy, Denver, CO 80220-2845, dennisdelrod@aol.com.

As the last Peace Corps geologist to arrive at the Ghana Geological Survey in December, 1977, the author soon became aware of the heroic work done before him and took particular interest in accounts of the early Peace Corps volunteers. For over 2 years veteran Ghanaian and expatriate co-workers fascinated me with colorful accounts of the scientific accomplishments, adventures, misadventures and tragedies the volunteers who preceded. Some of these stories are now appropriate to tell publicly.

The Ghana Geological Survey employed 40 Peace Corps and 4 CUSO geologists, and 2 Peace Corps/CUSO technical editors between 1962 and 1980, 35 of whom worked between 1963 and 1967. Initially recruited to fill the breach left by the departure of many British Commonwealth geologists in 1962-1963, these volunteers made an extraordinary contribution to the geology of Ghana.

The field sheets geologically mapped, the areas prospected for gold, diamonds, bauxite, columbite, pegmatites, and a hydroelectric dam-site evaluated, along with laboratory and duty station locations, show the extent of the volunteers work in the southern half of the country. This Peace Corps/CUSO work, along with the Soviet work in the northern half of the country, is plotted on a map of Ghana.

The Soviet Geological Team worked concurrently and autonomously from 1962-1966 on the mapping and prospecting in the northern half of Ghana. The open and collaborative style of the North American volunteers contrasted with the autonomous and secretive Soviet team with its independent headquarters in Tamale and 111 specially built bungalows. While the accomplishments of the Soviet scientists were also great, the contrasting national styles of operation can be viewed in the context of the larger Cold War competition between very different political systems. Unfortunately the Soviet Geological Team departed in haste after the February,1966 coup d'etat, and the Peace Corps geology effort also dwindled after 1967.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 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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