“I knew I wanted to be a geologist ever since I was a small child” is not something I could say. In fact I didn’t even start pursuing geology until I was in my early 20’s and it wasn’t always smooth. But it definitely made sense in the end, and I can’t think of a more natural place for me to be.
Some of the geologist components were always there: I grew up in Colorado, and hiking and camping in the Rockies was something my family did regularly. We made many trips to National Parks where so much geology is on display. I’ve always loved large rock exposures, whether they were towering sandstone monoliths at Red Rocks Amphitheater, or sharp glacially carved “granite” peaks high above tree-line that make up so many 14,000’ peaks in Colorado (granite in quotes because I learned later a number of my favorites aren’t granite or even intrusive!).
Despite all that I really wasn’t too sure what do after high school. I had taken autoshop and aerospace classes and I had a fair amount of experience working on the 1977 Dodge Pickup I was driving at the time, so I was seriously considering going into aviation maintenance. I figured it would be good to get at least an associate’s degree and went to community college to get the basic classes; one of my science electives was “Intro to Geology”. I liked it enough that I followed up with “Historic Geology”. Glacial processes especially intrigued me. I never quite had an epiphany, but I decided a Geology degree made sense. Though I had initial struggles with my memorization-heavy Mineralogy course, the big conceptual courses like structural geology and stratigraphy I loved. I got my Bachelor’s at Colorado State in December 2004.
Right out of school I looked for work for a while but didn’t find anything. I ended up taking a job doing graveyard shift milk deliveries door to door for a couple years (yep, I was a milkman). It wasn’t all bad, physical work, good pay and benefits, I occasionally got to see wildlife including bears out at night; but my back didn’t love it and my body never really adjusted to working at night.
A uranium exploration company found my resume and contacted me in 2007. They were looking for someone to do data entry: digitizing old lithology logs and doing uranium grade calculation off of 1970’s gamma logs. It was a pay cut from milk deliveries and without any benefits, but I took the risk. After I proved myself in the office I ended up on a truly green-fields roll-front uranium drilling program. It was an exciting dynamic program following a sinuous redox boundary in a buried sandstone unit. We would often drill multiple holes per day, the next hole picked immediately based on the results of the current hole. I stayed with that company as long as they could keep me on making maps and sections, doing water well research, and even playing Landman. Following that I did a few contract gigs, mostly from contacts I made on the uranium job and with my new abundant free time really did a lot of hiking. After a bit of that I decided it was a good time get a Masters.
After shopping around I decided on Professional Masters in Mineral Exploration from Colorado School of Mines, receiving my diploma in December 2011. Courses were challenging but I was more focused than I was in my younger years so it went much better. I interviewed for a core logging position working for Entrée Gold on the Ann Mason Deposit out in Nevada for summer break 2011, but ended up taking a uranium summer job instead due to timing issues. Come the fall of 2011 with my courses nearly over the Entrée Gold position came up again and I reluctantly took it starting January 2012 (reluctant this time because at this point as I was seriously dating my future wife who had a good job in Colorado). After a few months of working 20-on 10-off flying in and out, we made the decision to move out to Nevada where we’ve been ever since.
I can’t really say much of anything negative about working out in Yerington the past almost 8 years. I’ve been involved in almost all aspects of the project from logging core, mapping, updating permits, coordinating with regulators, budgets, setting up drill programs, land research, and everything in between. I’ve made it through the spin-out of Mason Resources from Entrée Gold in 2017 and the acquisition of Mason Resources by Hudbay in 2018. I’ve worked through extremely busy times, including a 40 hole infill program with a crew of eight total geologists, to a period when I was the sole US employee after serious downsizing. Since 2017 I’ve been the Exploration Manager of the project, a position retained when Hudbay acquired the property.
Outside of looking at rocks, I live in Fernley with wife who is a certifying scientist at a lab in Reno; we are the parents of three sons: a five year old, a three year old, and a seven month old. Three sons definitely keep us busy and I’m happy to say the oldest two love the outdoors already. We have a cat named Porkchop and corgi named Crunchy, who also is the unofficial greeter at the Yerington office.
I know I’ve been blessed to be where I am today. I’m also thankful to the people I’ve worked with that made it all the more enjoyable and those who must have said a good thing or two about me along the way.
Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Hudbay Minerals- Mason Resources (US) Inc.
Position Exploration Manager