Dr. Donald B. Hoover was a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey who had a lifelong interest in gems and was active in gemological research. He was a long-time member of the Ozark Gem & Mineral Society and, as a certified gemologist, served as our primary rock and mineral identifier at our yearly rock, gem, and mineral show. His contributions to the science of gemology and the education of our members cannot be quantified.
Dr. Donald Hoover, DSc. died January 22, 2023. He was 92, although if you had seen him earlier that day, you might find it hard to believe, such was his energy and enthusiasm. Nothing enthused him as much as geological and gemological discovery, although gardening and his wife, Lucille’s, cooking ran a close second.
Don was born June 17, 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of two children. He had fond memories of hiking with his father and looking for rocks. He trained as an electrical engineer, with his undergraduate studies completed at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and then a masters at the University of Michigan. After a brief stint with the army, he then went on to his true calling in geophysics, completing his Doctor of Science at Colorado School of Mines in Denver, Colorado. At the time, because it was not a liberal arts school, a PhD was not considered the appropriate qualification, but as Don was all about science and not much for philosophy, this suited him well.
After graduating, he went on to a long career with the U.S. Geological Survey, which took him to numerous parts of the world to analyze the local geology and natural resources. He developed a long-lasting love for Brazil, encompassing the geology, natural history, people, language, and of course the food. He worked throughout the US, including Alaska and Hawaii, The Azores, and Brazil. His focus was on seismic predictions, vulcanology, geothermal energy, and nuclear waste disposal.
During his time with the US GS, he also indulged his love of gemstones, obtaining gemology degrees from both the GIA (GG) and Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA.) He published numerous independent research projects on various gemological topics and served as a mentor to many gemologists still practicing today.
Don is survived by his wife of 46 years, Lucille Hoover; his sister, Jean; a nephew, Todd Miller; and a niece, Heather Miller. He is preceded in death by both parents, and his step-daughter, Linda.
Here are a few of his works that I’ve tracked down. I’ll continue to add to this as I discover more. You can view much of his gem collection at the Missouri Institute of Natural Science in Springfield, Missouri.
- Interpreted resistivity and IP section Line W1 Wahmonie area, Nevada Test Site, Nevada; Christian Smith, Howard P.Ross, Ronald Edquist, with an introduction by Donald B. Hoover; U.S. Geological Survey for Nevada Operations Office, U.S. Department of Energy; 1981
- E-field ratio telluric transverse near Fortymile Wash, Nevada Test Site, Nevada; D.B. Hoover, M.P. Chornack, M.M. Broker; United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1982
- Electrical studies at the proposed Wahmonie and Calico Hills nuclear waste sites, Nevada Test Site, Nye Co., Nevada; D.B. Hoover; The Survey; 1982
- Geophysical studies of the Syncline Ridge area, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada; D.B. Hoover; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1982
- Remote-reference magnetotelluric survey Nevada test site and vicinity, Nevada and California; Robert B. Furgerson, with an introduction by D.B. Hoover; The Survey; 1982
- Resistivity sounding investigation by the Schlumberger method in the Yucca Mountain and Jackass Flats area, Nevada Test Site, Nevada; R.M. Senterfit, D.B. Hoover; The Survey; 1982
- Airborne electromagnetic surveys of the Cascade Range, western United States; D.C. Fraser, preface by D.B. Hoover; United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1983
- Audio-magnetotelluric and telluric data release for the Ten-Lakes Wilderness study area, Montana; D.B. Hoover, M.M. Broker; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1983
- Telluric traverse data release for the Getchell and Preble disseminated gold deposits, Humboldt County, Nevada; D.B. Hoover, H.A. Pierce, G.A. Abrams; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1984
- Audio-magnetotelluric sounding and telluric traverse data release for the Farlin Creek Wilderness study area, Beaverhead County, Montana; D.B. Hoover, H.A. Pierce; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1985
- Electrical studies conducted on the Lake City Caldera, Colorado, July 1984; Herb Pierce, D.B. Hoover; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1985
- Preliminary report on electrical studies conducted during 1983 on São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal; Donald Hoover; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1985
- Telluric traverse and self-potential data release in the vicinity of the Pinson Mine, Humboldt County, Nevada; D.B. Hoover, H.A. Pierce, D.C. Merkel; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1986
- Circuitry of the U.S.G.S. telluric profiler; Robert L. Seeley, Donald B. Hoover, Charles L. Tippens; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1987
- Electrical data release for the Owens-Peak Wilderness study area Tulare and Kern counties, California; Herbert A. Pierce, Donald B. Hoover; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1987
- Electrical data release natural source telluric traverses and audio-magnetotelluric soundings near Las Vegas, north-central Clark County, Nevada; H.A. Pierce, D.B. Hoover; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1987
- Audio-magnetotelluric data release for the Newcastle, Utah geothermal area; D.B. Hoover, H.A. Pierce; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1987
- Geophysical characterization of mineral and energy resources at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada; V.E. Langenheim, D.B. Hoover, H.W. Oliver; U.S. Geological Survey; 1991
- The Geophysical expression of selected mineral deposit models; D.B. Hoover, W.D. Heran, P.L. Hill; U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey; 1992
- Topaz; D.B. Hoover; Butterworth-Heinemann Gem Books; 1992
- CHIM: an electrogeochemical partial extraction method: an historical overview; Donald B. Hoover, David B. Smith, Reinhard W. Leinz; U.S. Geological Survey; 1997
- Magnetic susceptibility for gemstone discrimination; Dr. D.B. Hoover FGA, FGAA (Hon.), B. Williams CG; The Australian Gemmologist (2007) 23
- Magnetic susceptibility, a better approach to defining garnets; Dr. D.B. Hoover FGA FGAA (hon.), B. Williams, C. Williams FGA, C. Mitchell FGA; The Journal of Gemmology 2008 Volume 31
- Determining garnet composition from magnetic susceptibility and other properties; Donald B. Hoover; Gems & Gemology Winter 2011