Theresa Hoffman manages the minerals assessment program on 200,000 acres of rugged forestland in Maine for two Indian Tribes, the Penobscot and the Passamaquoddy. As the staff geologist for the Penobscot Nation, Theresa is responsible for prospecting for economic mineral deposits on the Tribes' land, determining the value of the deposits, and negotiating with mining companies who want to lease the deposits. She is very busy during the eight month field season conducting geochemical soil sampling programs, geologic prospecting, geophysical surveys, and core drilling. During the winter she analyzes the geochemical and geophysical data and logs drill core. She also meets with mining company representatives interested in leasing the Tribes' copper, zinc, and silver prospects. Her staff of four to eight people includes geologists, geophysicists, and Indian field technicians. In addition to having located several metals prospects, which have attracted corporate interest, Theresa's program has provided employment and training to nine field technicians from the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Tribes. One technician has recently completed his first year towards a B.A. degree in chemistry at the University of Maine. Theresa enjoys managing field crews, which happen to consist mainly of men. She attributes her management ability in this situation to growing up as the only girl in a family with five brothers. As a member of the Penobscot Tribe, Theresa is pleased to contribute to the advancement of the Tribe in the area of natural resource development.
Theresa received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Southern Maine in 1982 and a master of science degree in economic geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984. She was interested in rocks and minerals when she was a child and shares this interest with her three stepchildren (ages 11 to 14). Theresa is married to a teacher and is expecting her first child in October, 1991.
Theresa thinks one of the most important aspects of her work is educating the public of all ages about the importance of minerals and mining in our daily lives as we drive cars, take trips by air, construct buildings, and use computers. She emphasizes that Indian people have been developing their natural resources (including minerals) for thousands of years. Many Indian tribes in the U.S. are currently working to discover and develop mineral deposits on their reservations as an avenue toward economic self-sufficiency.
Theresa serves on the Penobscot Indian Nation's Land Committee, which is currently drafting land use regulations for the Tribe's land base, and is one of two public members on the State of Maine's Advisory Commission on Radioactive Waste. She also volunteers at the Penobscot reservation school where she gives rock and mineral presentations and takes Penobscot children on field trips to collect minerals and pan for gold.