I was born and raised in northern Nevada where playing outside was more common than inside. As a young child I participated in as many sports and outdoor activities as possible developing an affinity for outdoor recreation. I was immersed at a young age to learn the importance of dedication and volunteerism while earning my Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts.
While in high school, I played football, hockey, ski-raced, and was in track & field. I took my first geology class during my freshman year but possessing the typical mindset of a high school boy, geology did not stick. It was not until a general geo-science class while studying abroad in New Zealand that geology piqued my interest and set a path. Somehow, I managed to attend that specific geology class in between road trips across New Zealand and enjoying other collegiate extracurricular activities. I returned to the University of Nevada and switched my major from secondary education of earth science to geology, and eventually received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. While attending the University, I played lacrosse for three years and worked the normal array of college jobs such as at a golf course, ski resort, casino valet, and retail. I was fortunate enough to become a Bureau of Land Management Wildland Firefighter and continued to work four summers while finishing school. I already knew I wanted to work in the outdoor industry, but firefighting strengthened my desire to find a career that allowed me to be outdoors.
After receiving my degree, I started my geologic career working as an Exploration Geologist for Rye Patch Gold. While working for Rye Patch Gold, I performed the normal array of duties for a junior exploration company including mapping, sampling, GIS analysis as well as helped develop and worked on drilling programs for five different projects mainly in Pershing County, Nevada.
In 2012, I took a position with the Nevada Division of Minerals as a Field Specialist and became the Chief of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Program in 2013. With the Division, I have the ability to work State-wide and have performed AML field work in all 17 counties. The Division recently received the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Program “Remediation of Physical Safety Hazards Award” for the AML work completed at Gold Butte National Monument. At the Division, one of the best parts, and most stressful, is managing the AML Internship Program. To date, I have supervised 43 interns and introduced them to general field work inventorying and securing thousands of hazards across the State. They average over 22,000 miles traveled each summer, and many have gone on to work in the industry.
I have been a part of the Nevada Mining Association’s education committee for seven years, which performs two earth science workshops annually to educate K-12 teachers about the practical use and importance of mined materials. These workshops are a rare opportunity for us to educate our teachers on the role that mining and geology play in our everyday lives who may never otherwise be introduced, especially in the Las Vegas area.
While my chosen career field fulfills my sense of adventure (and a paycheck), my true passion is my family. I was married in 2010 to Courtney, an avid outdoorswoman who manages the Range and Invasive Species programs for the USFS, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Carson Ranger District. We have two children, Hannah (5) and Barrett (3). We spend the majority of our free time together outside camping, hunting, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, or skiing. Hannah was introduced to skiing at the age of two and Barrett was introduced at one; we pride ourselves on encouraging their curiosity for the natural world and teach them to appreciate the world around them.
Thank you to Kelsey and Patty for having me be this month’s Face of GSN.
Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Nevada Division of Minerals
Position Chief, Abandoned Mine Lands Program