skip all navigation
skip banner links
skip primary navigation

Bright Star Scholars

Since 2020, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources the Bright Star Scholar Program has supported undergraduate students with paid internships with our laboratories and research scientists.

The Bright Star Scholars are:
(If there are corrections or additions that should be made to this list, please contact Nelia Dunbar.)


  1. Brandon Dennis — Computer Science

    In his second year of Bright Star funding, Brandon will continue working with Dave Kasefang and Chris Armijo, solving problems related to Bureau IT support.
  2. Kyle Gallant

    Kyle will be investigating the structure of the San Marcial Basin using relative gravity measurements. This work supports on-going StateMap efforts in the basin, which has few deep wells and extremely limited geophysical data. In addition to advancing our understanding of this enigmatic rift basin, Kyle's work will be useful for planning new water well sites in future hydrogeologic studies.
  3. Ethan Haft — Geology

    Ethan's Bright Star project involves studying carbonatites in the Lemitar Mountains, near Socorro. He will be investigating the geochemistry, mineralogy, fenitization and potential for rare earth elements. Ethan was awarded a 2021 New Mexico Geological Society "Grant-in-Aid" to support his research, based on the quality of his research proposal to the society.
  4. John Lempke

    John will be investigating geochemistry of waters in the Crownpoint, NM, area, as part of a project jointly undertaken by New Mexico Tech and Navajo Technical University


  1. Brandon Dennis — Computer Science

    Dave Kasefang and Chris Armijo will be mentors for solving problems related to Bureau IT support.
  2. Haley Dietz — Mineral Engineering

    This scholarship is specifically in memory of Gloria Peterson, the late wife of long-time New Mexico Tech employee Denny Peterson. Dr. Virginia McLemore will be supervising research on rare earth element deposits in the Gallinas Mountains.
  3. Arzoo Rishad — Geology

    Dan Koning will supervise research on the paleomagnetic analysis of sedimentary rocks.