Nelson Shaffer

Section Head, Coal and Industrial Minerals (retired)



(812) 855-1380


Nelson R. Shaffer is Head of the Coal and Industrial Minerals Section at the Indiana Geological Survey where he has studied applied geology focused upon Indiana for more than 30 years. Nelson received the BSc and MSc in geology from the Ohio State University in 1972 and 1974. He was awarded a PhD from Indiana University in 1996, and has since authored more than 100 papers, maps, abstracts, or chapters. Dr. Shaffer was Executive Director of the Indiana Academy of Science for 12 years, a founding member of the Midwest Chapter of Friends of Mineralogy, and sits on several boards for natural science groups. Nelson has special interests in industrial minerals especially carbonate rocks, coal geology, alternate uses for coal, reuses of mined lands, reduction of power plant emissions, hydrology, and high tech innovations to enhance mineral uses. Dr. Shaffer has helped to teach the CAPP School, the Teachers Workshop, and made many studies about aggregates. Nelson was made an Honorary “Aggie” by the IMAA in 2010.


mineralogy, shale, oil shale, MVT deposits, limestone, meteorites, geochemistry, X-ray diffraction, depositional setting of coal, low sulfur coal, coal mineral matter, alternate use of coal, biotechnology, black shales, scrubber stone, geophysical methods, coal ash/high value, coal ash leaching, archaeology, underclays

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