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Bonnie Frey

 Bonnie Frey
Geochemist/Chemistry Lab Manager
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-6333 fax

Bonnie Frey is a geochemist at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, where she is the laboratory manager of the Analytical Laboratory.

Bonnie holds an English degree from Goshen College, which was followed by 10 years working for the Sarasota Herald Tribune, a New York Times regional paper. She returned to school in the 1990s taking math and science classes at Manatee Community College, culminating in a geology degree (B.S.) from the University of South Florida in 1997. She arrived at New Mexico Tech two years later to pursue a master’s degree, studying the geochemistry of Central Arizona’s Iron King Formation with her advisor, Kent Condie, and graduating in 2002 (M.S.). She has since specialized in uranium transport and water quality studies in New Mexico.

She is currently a co-lead on a USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative with Virginia McLemore to test protocols for determining critical mineral resources in mine waste and is a senior scientist on a project with Navajo Tech to identify wells on the Navajo Nation that are suitable for filtration systems and to provide workforce development for the next generation of indigenous water resource scientists. In August 2022, she was appointed a commissioner of the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission representing the New Mexico Bureau of Geology.

An active member with the New Mexico Geological Society, Bonnie has co-led two field conferences (2016, Belen with Shannon Williams; May 2022, Mt. Taylor with Shari Kelley) and one spring meeting (2017). She has also organized three student / professional mixers during the NMGS spring meeting (2017-2019). She received the NMGS honorary membership award in May 2022.


  • M.S., 2002, Geochemistry, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico
  • B.S., 1997, Geology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
  • B.A., 1988, English, minor in mass communication, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana


New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico

  • Laboratory Manager / Geochemist, 2005 to present
  • NMT project co-lead. 2013 to 2018, NM EPSCoR Uranium Transport and Site Remediation Study, Grants Mineral Belt, Laguna Pueblo, Navajo Nation.
  • Co-lead. Summer 2014, 2015, 2016, STEMAP uranium project, Laguna and Isleta pueblos and Navajo Nation.
  • Senior Laboratory Associate, 2002 to 2005

Earth and Environmental Science Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico

  • Adjunct Professor. 2016 to present
  • Graduate Researcher, 2000-2002
    Investigated the origin of a volcanic sequence in central Arizona using petrology and geochemistry. Thesis provided evidence that it was an oceanic plateau accreted to North America in the Proterozoic.
  • Research Assistant, Spring 2000
    Examined the behavior of arsenic in Socorro irrigation system. Chose field sites, collected water samples, completed field measurements. Assisted with experiments to develop an arsenic speciation kit.
  • Teacher’s Assistant, 1999-2001
    Freshman level geology classes, geologic field camp.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Florida

  • Copy editor, 1999
  • Community news reporter, 1993 to 1999
  • News assistant, 1990 to 1993
  • Saleswoman in circulation department, 1990

Professional Activities

  • Appointed to New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission, August 2022 to present
  • Secretary, Executive Committee, New Mexico Geological Society (NMGS), term 2023-2026.
  • Leader, New Mexico Geological Society (NMGS) 2022 May Field Conference in Mt. Taylor and Grants area
  • Member, NMT Committee on Safety in Research, 2021-2022, previously the Safety & Compliance committee, 2018-2020
  • Member, search committees for Bureau of Geology database manager, 2021; EES Hydrology position, 2019-2020; Bureau of Geology Economic Geologist position, 2019
  • Member, NMT Recycling Committee
  • Co-organizer of EES / Bureau of Geology seminar series Fall 2019-Spring 2020
  • Organizer of student / professional mixer, NMGS spring meeting, 2017-2019.
  • Participant, Science Communication Fellowship, Explora Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2018.
  • President, AAUW-Socorro (American Association of University Women), September 2017-2019. Increased membership from 10 to nearly 30 in four months.
  • Co-chair, keynote session on uranium issues, 2017, New Mexico Geological Society spring meeting, Socorro, New Mexico.
  • Session co-chair, Environmental: From Gold King to Laguna, 2017, Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Denver, Colorado.
  • Co-lead. NMGS 2016 Fall Field Conference in Belen.
  • Judge, Student Presentations, GSA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, May 2012.
  • Judge, Student Presentations, New Mexico Geologic Society Spring Meeting, April 2012.

Instrument and Equipment Experience

Laboratory equipment: Agilent 7900 ICP-OES, Agilent 7500 ICP-MS, Agilent 5900 ICP-OESPerkinElmer Optima 5300 DV ICP-OES, Instrument Laboratory flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer, Dionex ion chromatograph, Varian graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer, Cameca electron microprobe, Milestone Ethos Plus microwave.

Field equipment: Radiometric meters; field meters for pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, Eh, total dissolved solids; Niton XRF spectrum analyzer; Spectrum Technologies weather station; steel tape and electronic water level meters; GPS systems.

Honors & Awards

  • IMPACT! Award recipient, New Mexico Network for Women in Science & Engineering, 2017
  • Honorary member, New Mexico Geological Society, 2022


  • New Mexico Geological Society
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  • American Association of University Women - Socorro Branch


  • N4WPP, NTU-NMT Navajo Nation Water Purification Project, since August 2020
  • WREP, Water Resource Eduation Project, since August 2021
  • NM EPSCoR Uranium Transport and Site Remediation Study /geoscience/research/home.cfml?id=81


  • PI, NSF Award 2054081, Acquisition of an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer for high-throughput major and trace element analysis of aqueous solutions, 2021-2024
  • Co-PI, USGS Earth MRI, New Mexico Critical Minerals in Mine Waste Project, 2022-2024.
  • Co-PI, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association proposal, Feb. 16, 2021.

Graduate Student Supervision

  • Thesis committee, Samantha Caldwell, Mineral Engineering, graduated 2019. “Reduced and Oxidized Uranium Mineral Occurrences: Paragenesis of Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Mineralization in Jurassic-age Strata, Southeastern Colorado Plateau, New Mexico.”
  • Thesis committee, Yitian Li, E&ES, graduated 2018. “Strong Leaching Evaluation of Uranium Bearing Waste Rocks at Ambrosia Lake, Laguna Subdistricts of Grants Mineral District in New Mexico.”
  • Thesis committee, Reid Brown, E&ES, graduated 2017. “Collection and Analysis of Dust and Soil Samples Adjacent to the Jackpile Mine, Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico.”
  • Thesis committee, Olivia Chavez, Biology, graduated 2016. “Microbiology of a Reclaimed Uranium Mine, Laguna Pueblo, NM.”
  • Thesis committee, Amy Galanter, E&ES, graduated 2016. “Distribution, transport, and accumulation of pyrogenic black carbon (PyC) in post-wildfire watersheds.”
  • Thesis committee, Samantha Saville, Chemistry, graduated 2015. “Uranium capture on Modified Inorganic-Organic Graphite Hybrid Material to Develop ad Specific Uranium Binding Filtrate Material for Mining Reclamation and Domestic Water Uses and Method Development of Complexation and Characterization Techniques for Uranium in Water.”
  • Provided laboratory support to numerous students in 2016, including those in the geological and biological sciences, chemistry, and engineering.


Frey, B.A., Cadol., D., McLemore, V.T., Chavez, W.X., Hettiarachchi, E., Brown, R.D., Caldwell, S., Pearce, A.R., Asafo-Akowuah, J., Silva, M., 2018, Examining Uranium Transport, Sources and Waste in New Mexico Mining Districts, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Frey, B., Cadol, D., Willie, S., Willis, B., Becenti, S., Platero, D., Paul, S., Chee, C., 2018. Studying Uranium Contamination on Tribal Lands in Collaboration with Undergraduate Researchers, presentation, Geological Society of America, Joint 70th Annual Rocky Mountain GSA Section / 114th Annual Cordilleran Section Meeting.

Hettiarachchi, E., Paul, S., Cadol, D., Frey, B.A., Rubasinghege, G., August 2018. Mineralogy driven dust-uranium dissolution in simulated lung fluids. Presentation: ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA.

Brown, R., Cadol, D., Frey, B., 2016. Geomorphic and Biotic Controls on the Aeolian Transport of Uranium-Bearing Dust, presentation, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado; DOI: 10.1130/abs/2016AM-284240.

Invited speaker-Frey, B., Nov. 29, 2018, Uranium Mobility on Historic Mine Lands: a Five-Year EPSCoR Program, Federal Abandoned Uranium Mine Working Group Technical Meeting, Bureau of Indian Affairs building, Albuquerque.