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Bureau-supported Current Students

(In alphabetical order by last name. )

NMBGMR Scholarships:

The 17 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. Christine Burrill

    PhD — (expected) 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.
  3. Tyler Cantrell

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Geology, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    TBD: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology with focus likely on detrital sanidine dating.
    Advisors:
    Heizler, ?
  4. 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.
  5. Brandon Dennis

    Dave Kasefang and Chris Armijo will be mentors for solving problems related to Bureau IT support.
  6. Haley Dietz

    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.
  7. Alex Duff

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

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

    Masters — (expected) 2022, Hydrology, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    TBD: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology with focus likely on volcanology.
    Advisors:
    Heizler, ?
  10. 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.
  11. Adrian Landstedt

    Masters — (expected) 2021, Mineral Engineering, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Petrographic and Microprobe analysis of calcocites and native copper from Northwest Australia.
    Advisors:
    Chavez, Lueth, Mojtabai
  12. 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.
  13. Morgan Nasholds

    Masters — 2020, New Mexico Tech
    Thesis:
    Geochronology of post-caldera volcanism at Valles caldera.
    Advisors:
    Zimmerer, Grapenthin
    Morgan received a Bachelor's of Science in Geology from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR in 2017 and then worked for two months at the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) in Vancouver, WA and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) on the Big Island of Hawaii. He began his Master's program at NMT in August 2018. His geochronologic work will be used to determine eruptive frequencies, repose intervals, constrain the duration of resurgence at Valles, and help refine the stratigraphic record. In addition to establishing new ages, volumetric assessment of the post-caldera domes will be used in conjunction with the ages to determine the eruptive flux of the Valles system over time.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Stephanie Roussel

    Masters — (expected) 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.
  17. 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.