Dave Shaddrick was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota in an extended family with modest means and limited prospects. As with many families in this situation, education was seen clearly as the way forward and the seeds were sown very early for Dave’s strong determination to get an education and have a professional career. The details, however, remained a mystery for many years. After a rather tempestuous and extended primary and secondary career, Dave surprised all of his relatives and friends by graduating from Richfield High School in 1961.
He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1961, received training in electronics and served as a Nuclear Weapons Fusing Systems Specialist based in Colorado, New York and the Philippines. During his military service he began his college career with evening classes at Long Island University where he earned the credits and GPA to allow him, following his honorable discharge in 1965, to enroll at the University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology.
At that point his only idea was that he enjoyed the challenge of science and engineering and wanted to work outdoors. His first course in Geology awakened a surprising sense of wonder and curiosity that settled the question quite definitively. Finances remained a challenge and Dave supported his university adventure with a full time job and, near the end of his undergraduate studies, part time work supplemented by assistance from the recently passed GI Bill for Vietnam Era Veterans. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the Institute of Technology in 1968.
His choice of graduate school was dictated, again, primarily by the availability of financial assistance and the promise of in-state tuition. Although accepted by a number of schools, only the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology offered these essentials. He packed everything he owned in a 1960 Chevrolet station wagon (a story unto itself) and moved to Rapid City in the Black Hills of South Dakota in early 1969. He earned a Master of Science degree in geology from “The Mines” in 1971.
After graduate school, Dave accepted a position with Homestake Mining Company as an underground mine geologist at the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, South Dakota. He spent the next 12 years with Homestake in numerous positions of increasing responsibility in operations, exploration and at the corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Dave likes to joke that he worked his way from the bottom (6500 level of the mine) to the top (11th floor of the corporate headquarters) of the mining industry. A notable highlight of this period in his career was the discovery of the Foley Ridge gold deposit (now the Wharf Mine) in South Dakota where he, with his colleague Terry
Jennings, developed the original exploration model and did the initial mapping, sampling and drilling.
In 1983, Dave moved to Reno to build a team and manage a gold focused exploration program in the western US for Atlas Precious Metals. Dave’s team discovered (1984) and developed (1985-87) the Gold Bar District in Eureka County, Nevada as well as the Grassy Mountain deposit (1987) in Oregon.
He left Atlas in 1987 and embarked on an independent consulting and project generation business which he has continued until the present. As an independent consultant and entrepreneur, Dave has worked in every capacity from prospector, field geologist and project manager to President and CEO of private and public exploration companies.
A particularly noteworthy highlight of Dave’s career has been his long standing involvement and countless contributions to the Geological Society of Nevada. From his arrival in Reno in 1983 to the present, Dave has been a fixture of the society, as an enthusiastic member, a consistent participant in monthly membership meetings, field trips, symposia, picnics, golf tournaments and many other events, and a generous volunteer to the Society. Dave’s volunteer roles began in 1990 as the first Chairman of the Education Committee, which he continued with for five years. He was involved in the formation and organization of the GSN Foundation, and sat on the committee that established the GSN Board of Directors. Dave was elected to the GSN Executive Committee as Vice President in 2000-2001 and became President in 2001-2002. He was appointed Director in 2005, and served on the Board of Directors to the present. He served as Chairman from 2011 to 2014. Dave has been involved in the Symposium Organizing Committees since the first one in 1987, and has successfully led the very important Fundraising Committee for the 2010 and the upcoming 2015 Symposium.
The success of a volunteer organization like GSN is due in large part to people like Dave, and his exemplary volunteer work and personal commitments have contributed greatly to the growth and success of the Society.