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Bureau-supported Current Students

(In alphabetical order by last name. )

NMBGMR Scholarships:

The 20 students listed below are currently being supported by the bureau, through our role as advisors or committee members, with financial resources, and/or with field logistical resources. If there are corrections or additions that should be made to this list, please contact Nelia Dunbar.

  1. Miceal Albonico

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Geology, University of New Mexico
    Thesis:
    40Ar/39Ar detrital sanidine geochronology of San Juan River terraces. Implications of Colorado Plateau landscape development.
    Advisors:
    Karlstrom, Heizler, ?
  2. Julianna Barnett

    Julianna is a student intern in the Argon geochronology laboratory.

  3. Christine Burrill

    PhD — 2021, Geology, New Mexico Tech
    Dissertation:
    Testing global scaling models for cosmogenic geochronology and developing a more detailed history of Mount Erebus and Mount Waesche volcanoes
    Advisors:
    Phillips, Heizler, Kyle, Zimmerer
    The goal of Christine’s work is to demonstrate which cosmogenic production scaling model produces correct numerical ages for multiple lava flows on Mount Erebus, Antarctica by comparing 36Cl and 3He exposure ages to 40Ar/39Ar-produced ages. The secondary goal of the project is to test whether cosmogenic nuclides should be scaled individually or uniformly by measuring the 3He/36Cl ratio of lava flows from a range of elevations on Mount Erebus. In performing these tests, we will also have the data to establish the first local cosmogenic nuclide calibration site in Antarctica, which will be applicable to broader areas of research. 40Ar/39Ar ages from numerous lava flows on the flanks Mount Erebus, most of which have never been sampled before, will hopefully help us better understand the evolution of the volcano. Similarly, 40Ar/39Ar ages from lava flows on Mount Waesche will help us understand whether there is a pattern to locations of vents, compositional changes, or frequency of eruptions and if there’s any connection between volcanism and tectonics or ice sheet levels.
  4. Tyler Cantrell

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Geology, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    TBD: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology with focus likely on detrital sanidine dating.
    Advisors:
    Heizler, ?
  5. Antonio Chavez

    Antonio is working with Marissa Fichera and Alex Rinehart to assist in conducting gravity surveys across the Socorro and La Jencia Basins. In addition to assisting with the larger survey project, Antonio will also conduct his own small-scale survey within the larger survey area in an area of structural complexity/interest. He will use field gravity survey equipment (gravimeter and RTX GPS), learn how to design geophysical surveys, and also learn how to process and interpret gravity data.

  6. Deusavan Costa Filho

    PhD — (expected) 2024, New Mexico Tech
    Dissertation:
    Partitioning of REE between fluid-calcite and -apatite at hydrothermal conditions
    Advisors:
    Gysi
    This research is part of a NSF CAREER funded project to A. Gysi. Deusavan will carry out laboratory experiments and measure the partitioning of REE between aqueous fluids and hydrothermal minerals including apatite and calcite up to to 300 °C. The experiments will be carried out in our new Ore Deposits and Critical Minerals experimental laboratory and aim at synthesizing REE-doped crystals. Deusavan will also react natural calcite crystals with hydrothermal aqueous fluids up to 250 °C to study fluid-mineral interface reactions. Part of Deusavan's research will be to develop a thermodynamic model for simulating the causes of REE variations observed in natural calcite veins and apatite in different hydrothermal-magmatic ore deposits.
  7. Brandon Dennis

    Bachelors — (expected) 2022, Computer Science, New Mexico Tech

    In his third year of Bright Star funding, Brandon continues to work with the Bureau IT group. He assists Chris Armijo on various support challenges. Brandon played a key role in migrating a database on a USGS-funded research project in the Gallinas Mountains from MS Access to MS SQL Server. This change helped eliminate many of the challenges associated with multiple researchers managing data in a MS Access database. The process developed for the Gallinas migration is being tested on other MS Access databases within the Bureau, specifically one focusing on New Mexico Mines. Brandon will be assisting Mark Leo-Russell in setting up the database for DOE-funded REE in Coal project. Brandon is also working on a project to evaluate software tools to generate web forms for simple data entry and edit functions. The goal is to develop a documented process for generating web forms which could be used in place of MS Access for data entry and edits where appropriate.Brandon also was recently first author on a paper entitled: Comparative Analysis of Object Visualization Tools with Respect to Their Use in Education

  8. Alex Duff

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Geophysics, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Investigation of Induced Seismicity in the Northern Delaware Basin
    Advisors:
    Van Wijk, Litherland
  9. Beth Ann Eberle

    Masters — 2021, Hydrology, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Geochemistry and Recharge in the Salt Basin of NM and TX
    Advisors:
    Dan Cadol, Alex Rinehart, Fred Phillips
  10. Jacob Gehrz

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Hydrology, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    TBD: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology with focus likely on volcanology.
    Advisors:
    Heizler, ?
  11. Marina Hein

    Masters — (expected) 2022, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Identifying factors controlling flow conveyance losses in the Middle Rio Grande
    Advisors:
    Newton, Duval, Cadol
    This project, which is funded by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, focuses on identifying important factors that affect water conveyance efficiency along the Middle Rio Grande between San Acacia and Elephant Butte Reservoir. A suite of in situ measurements, modeling efforts, and remote sensing techniques will be used to identify the most important and potentially interacting factors leading to channel conveyance loss. Monitoring/measurements will collect continuous baseline data, but will also include campaigns focused on relevant water inputs (seasonal precipitation events, managed water release) and losses. This work will result in a series of management recommendations based on the breadth of knowledge gained from this research.
  12. Adrian Landstedt

    Masters — 2021, Mineral Engineering, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Petrographic and Microprobe analysis of calcocites and native copper from Northwest Australia.
    Advisors:
    Chavez, Lueth, Mojtabai
  13. Marianne Lara

    Marianne is working with Barbara J Horowitz, Publications Program Manager, to experience the Bureau of Geology’s end-to-end publications process. Focusing on Marianne’s creative studio interests, this includes providing design and production services for Bureau’s general audience, outreach and technical publications and special projects; serving as point person for figures, photography and illustration work; enhancing her knowledge of Creative Suite applications as well as learning new software programs and tools; participating in the print production and online posting processes; managing project workflow; maintaining the operation and calibration of office equipment; and helping to organize the program’s electronic/hard copy files and print samples.

  14. John Lempke

    Bachelors — (expected) 2023, Chemical Engineering, New Mexico Tech

    In his second year of Bright Star scholarship funding, John is continuing to work on a collaborative project between New Mexico Tech and Navajo Technical University focusing on water quality research. He has been involved in water sampling in Alamo, NM. John also helped with the installation of a new inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer, recently funded by that National Science Foundation, in a grant to Bonnie Frey who is John's supervisor.

  15. Katie McLain

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Hydrology, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Identifying factors controlling flow conveyance losses in the Middle Rio Grande
    Advisors:
    Newton, Cadol, Duval
    This project, which is funded by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, focuses on identifying important factors that affect water conveyance efficiency along the Middle Rio Grande between San Acacia and Elephant Butte Reservoir. A suite of in situ measurements, modeling efforts, and remote sensing techniques will be used to identify the most important and potentially interacting factors leading to channel conveyance loss. Monitoring/measurements will collect continuous baseline data, but will also include campaigns focused on relevant water inputs (seasonal precipitation events, managed water release) and losses. This work will result in a series of management recommendations based on the breadth of knowledge gained from this research.
  16. Evan Owen

    Masters — (expected) 2022, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Mineral paragenesis and geochemistry of hydrothermal fluorite veins and breccias as vectors for REE mineralization in the Gallinas Mountains, New Mexico
    Advisors:
    Gysi
    This project is funded through the NMBGMR and a NSF CAREER funded project to A. Gysi, and is also in collaboration with V. McLemore. Evan is studying the geochemistry and mineral paragenesis of REE and fluorite bearing veins and breccias in the Gallinas Mountains, New Mexico. Evan will characterize the various styles of alteration at different scales and use bulk rock geochemistry to link field and mineralogic observations. His aim is to develop an ore-formation model for this deposit and determine how vein alteration can be used to vector towards REE mineralization.
  17. Madison Payne

    Masters — (expected) 2022, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Partitioning of REE between fluid-fluorite at hydrothermal conditions
    Advisors:
    Gysi
    This research is part of a NSF CAREER funded project to A. Gysi. Madison will carry out laboratory experiments and react natural fluorite with hydrothermal aqueous fluids up to 250 °C. She will then study in detail the metasomatism at the mineral-fluid interface and determine the effects of pH and temperature on REE partitioning between fluids and minerals. The experiments will be carried out in our new Ore Deposits and Critical Minerals experimental laboratory. Part of Madison's research will be to also study fluid inclusions in fluorite veins from the Gallinas REE deposit in New Mexico and link these observations with the experimental work using thermodynamic modeling.
  18. Stephanie Roussel

    Masters — 2021,
    Thesis:
    Riparian evapotranspiration recovery post-fire: using diurnal groundwater fluctuations and remote sensing to quantify phreatophyte interactions in a disturbed landscape
    Advisors:
    Newton, Cadol, Rinehart
    Stephanie's project will document the recovery of riparian vegetation using continuous groundwater monitoring at wells installed by the Interstate Stream Commission along two transects, one along the southern border of Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and one near the ghost town of San Marcial. The study will also monitor vegetation recovery using repeat aerial imagery surveys collected by drone. The overlapping images will be processed at the Bureau of Geology to create orthomosaic and greenness maps. These maps will be correlated to lower resolution satellite images and used to estimate vegetation evapotranspiration rates, the rate at which plants release water to the atmosphere. The project will support the important work done by land managers in New Mexico.Stephanie received the New Mexico Geological Society’s (NMGS) 2020 Frank E. Kottlowski Research Award worth $2,500, for the highest quality research proposal of all those submitted to the society for the February 2020 proposal deadline.
  19. Cody Schwenk

    Masters — (expected) 2022, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Geochemistry and petrogenesis of mineralization in the Cooke’s Peak district, New Mexico using fluorite trace element chemistry an fluid inclusions
    Advisors:
    Hurtig, Lueth, Gysi
    This study will use a combination of field mapping, ore petrography, trace element geochemistry and fluid inclusion data to develop an ore formation model for the Cooke’s Peak district.
  20. Jonnie Woody

    Bachelors — (expected) 2024, Biomedical Science, New Mexico Tech

    Jonnie Woody is learning instrumentation and water analysis in the Bureau of Geology’s Analytical Chemistry Laboratory. Jonnie is a senior biomedical science major who plans to go to medical school in fall 2024 and become a pediatric oncologist on the Navajo Nation. She is a tribal member of the Navajo Nation who grew up on the reservation, where she experienced firsthand the struggles Navajo people face with having limited access to clean water and addressing water rights. Her work in the analytical laboratory offers an opportunity to learn more about water quality. Jonnie is the vice president of the NMT AISES student club.