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Dr. Joel Aquino

Title: Part-Time Faculty

Office: Gainesville
Areas of Expertise: Economic Geology (Mineral Deposits and Exploration), Science Education


Dr. Aquino's career can be summarized and has evolved from being an "Explorer of Mines to Explorer of Minds". He teaches the cross-disciplines of Physics, Physical Science, Earth Systems and Geology in high school, college and graduate level programs. His professional background includes a combined 33 years of teaching, research and mineral industry experiences that span across several nations (Philippines, United States, Australia, Germany Indochina and Japan). The highlight of his mineral industry career is his being part of a team that discovered the $13 billion Sepon copper-gold deposit in Laos. As a K-12 educator, he holds several science teaching certifications that include gifted-in-field and ESOL endorsements. He has been the recipient of several local, state and national teaching awards and professional travel grants. To continue his passion in mineral exploration, He still occasionally conducts part-time contract/consulting work for mining companies.

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 1121 Physical Geology
  • GEOL 1122 Historical Geology
  • ISCI 2001 Integrated Life/Earth Science
  • ISCI 2002 Integrated Physics/Chemistry


  • Ph.D., Geology, James Cook University, Australia, 1996
  • M.S., Geology, University of the Philippines, 1989
  • B.S., Geology, University of the Philippines, 1982
  • B.S., Military Science and Tactics, University of the Philippines, 1982
  • Certification in Education, Philippine Women's University, 2001
  • Certificate in Mineral Exploration, Federal Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, Germany, 1985

Research/Special Interests

  • Exploration strategies, structural deformation and metallogenesis of mineral deposits.
  • Energy sources of the future.
  • Efficacy of research-based instructional methods in actual K-12 classroom teaching.


Selected Publications

  • Aquino, J.S. (2006) “ Dancing Boulders Under a Joshua Tree: An Outdoor Classroom Activity”. Proposed abstract to be presented at the SE Geological Society of America Conference; Knoxville,TN; March 2006,
  • Aquino, J.S. (2003) “How I discovered a gold mine”. Invited guest speaker to give an informal talk given to the geology department of St. Louis University, Missouri
  • Manini, A.J., Aquino, J.S., Gregory, C.J. and Aneka, S. (2001) “Discovery of Sepon Cu-Au Deposit, Lao P.D.R.” paper presented in Case Histories of Recent Mineral Discoveries Conference at Perth, Australia; December 2001.
  • Aquino, J.S. (2001) “Metamorphic-Magmatic Connections and Crustal Scale Mineralization: Evidences from Kontum Massif-Sepon Basin, Indochina Region” paper presented at the 2001 GEOCON, Manila; December 2001.
  • Sepon Project Geotechnical Staff (co-author) (1999) "Padan-Thengkham District (Sepon Basin), Lao P.D.R.: Overview of a Newly Discovered Mineral Field in the Indochina Region" paper presented at the 1999 GEOCON, Pasig City, Philippines; December 1999.
  • Aquino. J.S. and Morrison, G.W. (1998) “The relationship between epithermal and porphyry Cu-Au mineralization in the Dizon deposit, Philippines”. Abstract presented at Geol. Soc. Australia Meeting; Townsville, Australia.

Work Experience

  • 2015-Current Part-time Instructor, Brenau University
  • 2014-Current Part-time Instructor, Piedmont College
  • 2008-Current Part-time Instructor, UNG (IESA and Education)
  • 2006-Current Science Teacher, Hall County Schools
  • 2005-2006 Lecturer, University of Tenessee
  • 2003-2005 Science Teacher, Splendora HS, Texas
  • 2002-2003 Science Teacher, Rivera HS, Texas
  • 1994-2001 Senior Geologist, Rio Tinto/Oxiana Minerals, Laos
  • 1983-1994 Instructor, University of the Philippines
  • 1982-1982 Mine/Exploration Geologist, Atlas Mining, Philippines

Personal Information

Dr. Aquino's favorite thing about the University of North Georgia is that UNG is both an academically challenging and compassionate university made up of highly motivated/diversified students, competent faculty and supportive administrators/staff.

To him, north Georgia is an ideal place to live as it is near Lake Lanier, the Appalachian Mountains, centers of academic excellence, shopping/retail places and most of all, great community!

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