Dr. Jim Fink Founder & Chief Scientist at Hydrogeophysics Inc. Retires

2013 Jan 24 6:50pm


 Dr. Jim Fink has retired after 15 years as Chief Scientist at Hydrogeophysics and a lifetime of dedication to the field of geophysics.  It is with great honor that the staff of HGI recognizes Dr. Fink for his many accomplishments, and distinguished career.

Dr. Fink completed a dual-major B.Sc. Degree in Geophysics and Geochemistry from the University of Arizona; an M.Sc. degree in Geosciences, cum laude, from the Bernard Price Institute of Geophysics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa; and a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering and Geohydrology from the University of Arizona.

During Jim’s military service from 1965 to 1970 he attended the Technical School for Jet Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.  He became the Small Arms Training Supervisor for the 162nd Combat Support Squadron in Tucson, Arizona.  In 1967 he was awarded Airman of the Year for the 162nd Combat Support Squadron, Air National Guard in Tucson, Arizona.

Jim started his geophysical experience doing field work for Walt Heinrichs at GeoEX. He worked for several mining exploration companies while going to school and was hired by Geo-Comp prior to graduating in 1969.  During this time he became an accomplished computer programmer writing computer programs in FORTRAN for a multi-channel airborne geophysical system, contouring software, and statistical processing code for induced polarization and resistivity data.

Jim using a calculator-pre field computers at
the Lucky Jim Mine in the Old Woman Mtns California 1973

His first international experience came with an opportunity to go to Mexico and work for IfexGeotecnica, based in Hermosillo, Sonora.  He developed air mag skills in northern Mexico. When he returned to Tucson he joined Mining Geophysical Surveys and supervised multiple geophysical crews performing mineral exploration surveys in the western United States, Mexico, and Central America.  He was responsible for data interpretation and reporting, computerized data processing, and computer modeling.

Jim invested in, and became a geophysicist for Zonge Engineering and Research Organization in Tucson, Arizon, in 1973. He also enrolled at the University of Arizona as a master’s degree student.  During his time at Zonge he developed field operation procedures for Complex Resistivity (CR) surveys, performed CR surveys in the Western United States, trained Zonge staff in CR procedures, and wrote FORTRAN code for DecPDP-8 mini computers.   In 1975, Jim left Zonge Engineering and started his own consulting business, which included working for the United Nations Development Program in Haiti where he was responsible for geophysical field operations for induced polarization, resistivity, and magnetometry.

Jim with the pack back generator
he and his dad designed-1983.


From 1976 to 1979, Jim was Senior Minerals Geophysicist at Esso Minerals in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Responsible for EMA’s southern Africa exploration geophysics, Jim focused on uranium, base metal, and precious metal exploration.  While in this role he wrote geophysical forward modeling software, developed and tested an IBM Series 1 Process Control Computer for digital logging of radiometrics, evaluated accuracy methods for wet chemical and radiometric assays.  He also published on radiometric logging methods, and developed financial analysis software for mineral deposits.  Additionally, Jim served as an internal consultant to other Esso foreign affiliates and adviser to EPRCo. (Exxon Production Research Company).   In 1979, he completed the requirements for his Master’s Degree.

Jim was the Senior Research Geophysicist for Exxon Production Research Company in Houston, Texas, and was responsible for the guidance of minerals geophysics research for Exxon Minerals worldwide from 1979 to 1980.  In this position Jim supervised researchers developing interpretation aids for electrical methods and performed theoretical computer studies of electrical geophysical techniques.  Jim further distinguished himself by authoring and co-authoring three volumes of theoretical curves (see publications) and traveled internationally to foreign affiliates to teach, train, and guide field operations.

Jim on an ATV
Sonora, Mexico – 1988

During the early 1980s, Jim reestablished his consulting business.  He spent time as a senior consultant for Phoenix Geophysics performing industry-funded research to evaluate the application of Spectral Induced Polarization to hydrocarbon exploration.  During this time he modifying data acquisition procedures, creating spectral modeling guidelines, and reporting research results.

From 1985 to 1987,  Dr. Fink was an Adjunct Lecturer and Associate Instructor at the University of Arizona in Tucson while enrolled in the Doctoral Program. He still maintains an adjunct position and is involved with the department. As a professor, beloved by his students, he taught field geophysics and a land surveying course to undergraduate and graduate students; educated graduate students in field hydrology courses and performed earth-tide studies using gravity monitoring. He completed his Ph.D. in Geological Engineering and Geohydrology at the University of Arizona in 1989.

In 1991 Dr. Jim Fink founded hydroGEOPHYSICS, Inc. (HGI) and had served as Chief Scientist for HGI for the past 15 years.  During his tenure Dr. Fink was responsible for the development of several key HGI technologies, such as the High Resolution ResistivityTM (HRRTM) method, the Residual Potential Mapping (RPM) method, and the patented Quantitative Electrical Leak Detection methodology in use at the Hanford Nuclear Site, in Washington State.

Jim directing field crews at
Newmont mine in 2009

Dr. Fink’s tireless efforts, expertise, consultation, and unique experiences have expanded and enriched the geophysical industry.  He remains highly regarded by peers and staff who worked with him.  His contribution to geophysics and geological studies serves as a model for us all.

hydroGEOPHYSICS and Columbia Energy and Environmental Services would like to extend a sincere thank you to Dr. Fink for his professionalism, and career achievements. Through his work he has brought recognition and respect to his profession.  James B. (Jim) Fink has been and is still an outstanding scientist, mentor, and friend. and has been an outstanding scientist, mentor, and friend.