Jean Cline hails from the town of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She stumbled into geology when she started college, at the suggestion of a long-time friend. Having grown up at a time when university-bound women were advised to become teachers and nurses, she’d been advised by high school councilors to become a physical education teacher, because she had some athletic ability. A science career was not even remotely on the radar screen, but it sounded fun and interesting when suggested. So she majored in geology and eventually graduated from Wisconsin State University, Platteville, where she had the good luck to visit a number of the MVT deposits in southwestern Wisconsin before they shut down.
After graduation Jean was fortunate to be hired by Inspiration Development Company in Arizona where she spent the next 11 years exploring primarily for porphyry copper deposits in the southwestern US. After a number of tough “down” years the office closed and she was laid off. However, the downturn provided the opportunity to return to school at Arizona to work on an M.S. degree with Spencer Titley on the Sixteen to One silver-gold deposit in Nevada, while still working as an exploration geologist during the summer. At that time Jean’s goal was to learn about precious metal systems and return to the mineral exploration industry when the industry recovered. The mid ‘80’s was a great time to be back in school, and at Arizona in particular, with more than 50 other experienced and knowledgeable economic geology students, most of them also recently out of a job. Unfortunately, jobs were still scarce when Jean finished her M.S., so she moved to VA Tech to continue her education, this time with Bob Bodnar and a focus on fluid inclusion studies.
By the time she finished her Ph.D. she was pretty hooked on economic geology research. Fortunately UNLV had just advertised an EG tenure-track position that looked like it was written for Jean. UNLV offered her the position and she eagerly headed back out west. Shortly after arriving at UNLV Jean teamed up with Brian Dozier to form the first GSN chapter in Las Vegas. Their goal was to create an opportunity to meet and connect with other geologists in the valley, and they continue to function as a small but enthusiastic group that has a large UNLV student component. Jean spent 25 years at UNLV until her retirement in 2015. During that period she was named a Ralph J. Roberts Distinguished Lecturer, and has been invited internationally as a keynote speaker and short course instructor. She was invited to be the lead author of the paper in the Society of Economic Geologist’s 100th Anniversary Volume titled: Carlin-type Gold Deposits in Nevada, USA: Critical Characteristics and Viable Models (2005). She has authored or co-authored over 50 professional papers in economic geology, several of which are significant contributions to our understanding of Carlin-type ore deposits. While retired she intends to hike, backpack and camp her way across the western US while also continuing to publish research projects undertaken while at UNLV, and also to participate in focused research projects, particularly those that require detailed examination of mineralized samples, that advance our understanding of processes related to formation of Carlin-type gold and other gold deposits.