What are your responsibilities with the IGS?
I am a bedrock geologist, and I assist with a variety of mapping projects as well as water and critical mineral resource characterization across the state of Iowa.
What are your research/project interests?
I consider myself a broadly trained geologist with interests spanning the breadth of geologic time, from Precambrian continental assemblages and Earth’s early glaciations to modern day depositional processes and their rock record analogs.
How can your research in your areas of interest improve the quality of life in Iowa?
I believe that geoscientists with the Iowa Geological Survey share a common goal of producing studies and developing new understandings of Iowa’s geologic past that increase the safety of and resources available to the public. In this role, I seek to advocate the sustainable usage of these resources to ensure they are properly managed and maintained for later generations.
What is your academic and professional background?
I have a BA in geology from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, and an MS in geosciences from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. During my time as a student, I had internships with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers - United States Geological Survey, the Illinois State Geological Survey, and a silica sand and high-purity quartz mining company (Unimin Sibelco/Covia). After graduation, I worked for Brierley Associates Corporation in Laramie, Wyoming, for two and a half years. My work at Brierley consisted of evaluating ground conditions and hazard assessment of properties and infrastructure in areas with historic underground coal mining in SE Wyoming, modeling and resource estimations for a granite aggregate quarry in SE Wyoming, and geotechnical investigation and mapping in the Uintah Basin in NE Utah for future tunneling. I joined the Iowa Geological Survey in August 2023.
At about what age and why did you decide to become a geologist/scientist?
My father is a Distinguished Professor of Geology at Illinois State University, so I was exposed to and have had an interest in the wonders of the natural world from a very young age. I recall going on my father’s class field trips to quarries and state parks across the Midwest and stopping at every road outcrop whilst on family road trips. However, it wasn’t until high school when I decided that geology was something I wished to pursue as a career.
What field activity is your favorite?
Any day I’m in the field looking at rocks is a good day!
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends; staying active by biking, hiking, gardening, and fly fishing; and cooking new recipes.