Richard A. Volkert, recently retired as a research scientist at the New Jersey Geological and Water Survey, is a leading expert in the geology of New Jersey. His accomplishments include developing a new theory for the origin of the Franklin zinc deposits using stable isotopes; identifying the oldest rocks in New Jersey dated at 1.37 billion years using isotopes of uranium and lead; unraveling the billion-year geologic history of the Highlands region; discovering the oldest fossils in the state dated at 1.29 billion years; and being part of a team that mapped the geology of the state and co-authored the 1996 geologic map of New Jersey, which replaced the outdated 1910 geologic map.
Volkert’s work involves the collection and interpretation of geologic data for applied purposes such as engineering projects and the mitigation of geologic hazards from faults, abandoned mines, slope instability, radon, asbestos and geochemical contaminants. During his 30-year career he has provided technical assistance to various federal, state and municipal agencies, private engineering and geologic consulting firms and the general public.
The author of more than 125 scientific publications including peer-reviewed journal papers and geologic maps, Volkert speaks regularly and has delivered keynote addresses to the Philadelphia Geological Society, Association of Engineering Geologists and New Jersey Earth Science Teachers Association. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 1999, and is also a member of the Society of Economic Geologists and Geological Association of New Jersey.