John M. Proffett

John M. Proffett
Independent Consulting Geologist

2015 GSA Geologic Mapping Award in Honor of Florence Bascom

Presented to John M. Proffett

Citation by Lewis B. Gustafson and John P. Hunt

John Proffett’s maps of the Yerington district, published in the GSA Bulletin and in the Nevada Bureau of Mines map series, are the single most influential documents that drove the revolution in extensional tectonics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The clarity of the relationships as they are mapped, as well as John’s high credibility as a field geologist, led to a general recognition that low-angle normal faults are a key component of extensional tectonic systems. John has since worked in many other parts of the world with equal effectiveness. In over more than a century of combined working with hundreds of mostly very good geologists in the minerals industry, we have worked with no one who is an equal mapper nor anyone who uses mapping more effectively to find ore, than does John Proffett.


top2015 GSA Geologic Mapping Award in Honor of Florence Bascom — Response by John M. Proffett

Thank you Lew and John for that very kind introduction. I was very pleased to learn that GSA was initiating a geological mapping award and then very honored to learn that I would be receiving the initial award. I would like to say that much of the mapping that may have led to this award has benefited from input by many other geologists besides myself. Early on there was guidance and inspiration from Chuck Meyer, Clyde Warhaftig, Garnis Curtis, Howel Williams, Dick Hay and other professors at Berkeley in teaching the basics of geological mapping, and it was Chuck Meyer and John Hunt, then of Anaconda who were instrumental in conceiving the opportunity to map the Yerington district, one of my first mapping projects. Throughout that project, and a number of others, I had the opportunity to learn from many other geologists. There have been too many to be able to mention all of them, but they include John Hunt, Lew Gustafson, Marco Einaudi, John Dilles, George Burns, Norm Degner, Dave Heatwole, Murray Hitzman, Hunter Ware, Gordon Lister and Bill Perkins, to name just a few. In accepting this award I would like to thank these and many other geologists, and finally I would like to express my gratitude to GSA for recognizing the importance of geological mapping with this award. I am sure that this award will help to inspire many other current and future geologists, and will also help our educational institutions to focus on training in geologic mapping as an important part of the geological curriculum.

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