Student research opportunities

There are many graduate student research opportunities. Interested and motivated, contact me.

Experimental Projects

Fluid-calcite REE partitioning at hydrothermal conditions (Emily Perry, PhD)

Laboratory experiments can be used to grow hydrothermal minerals and measure the partitioning behavior of metals between minerals anf fluids. These experiments are implemented in the numerical modeling software GEM-selektor to predict the partitioning in crustal fluids.

Experimental Determination of the Thermodynamic Properties of Rare-Earth Element Phosphates (Chris Van Hoozen, PhD)

My research focuses on the experimental determination of the thermodynamic properties of rare earth element minerals. Currently I am working on finding the free Gibbs energy associated with the dissolution of rare earth element phosphates using high temperature and pressure autoclaves. In the near future I plan to extend my work into the thermodynamic properties of rare-earth element phosphate solid solutions. Understanding the thermodynamic properties of these minerals allows for us to better understand the chemical environment in which these minerals form and provides insights into the geological environments required to form economically viable rare-earth element deposits.

Student Field Projects

Geology and Geochemistry of the Kansanshi Cu-Au Deposit, Zambia (Tim MacIntyre, PhD)

View of the Cape of Good Hope from Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
The goal of this project is to incorporate new data from over 80,000m of diamond core drilling and multi-element geochemical data into a revised geology and exploration model for Kansanshi style deposits that will aide mine site development and regional exploration by predicting favorable locations and providing vectors to ore. The three main areas of investigation are: 1) A revised structural and stratigraphic interpretation of the Kansanshi deposit to incorporate newly recognized breccia horizons and correlate mine stratigraphy into a regional context, 2) Identification of geochemical signatures from alteration and mineralization that may provide vectors to ore, 3) Paragenesis of metamorphism, hydrothermal alteration, and mineralization at Kansanshi and incorporation to the regional metamorphic history in the district.

Petrogenesis of the California Blue Mine Aquamarine- and Topaz-bearing Pegmatite Deposit, San Bernardino County, California (Carolyn Pauly, MS)

The research involves the analysis of the processes which formed the California Blue Mine pegmatite through a mineralogical and geochemical study with a focus on the mobility of Be in hydrothermal fluids and how the chemistry of beryl evolved during pegmatite evolution.

Evolution of hydrothermal Au-Te bearing quartz-pyrite veins and mineralization processes in the Central City District, CO (Lee Alford, MS)

The goal of this project is to study different episodes of quartz-pyrite veining and the role of hydrothermal processes for gold transport and mineralization associated to the Central City district, Colorado. In this project, we will establish a mineral paragenesis and combine textural observations at the field and thin sections scales with the trace element geochemistry of pyrite using LA-ICP-MS to reconstruct the geologic history that formed this ore deposit. Different quartz generations will be studied using cathodoluminecence, and alteration textures using SEM and optical microscopy. This research will permit to yield new insights on the role of hydrothermal fluids for mineralization in this historical mining district.

Geology and Mineralization at the Pajarita Mountain Layered Peralkaline Intrusion-Hosted REE-Zr Prospect, Mescalero Apache Reservation, New Mexico (Michael Berger, MS)

This project explores the igneous processes that produced the Pajarita Mountain layered peralkaline intrusion and their role in localizing REE-Zr mineralization hosted in eudialyte-group zirconosilicates. Field mapping, core logging, petrography, whole-rock geochemistry and SEM analysis are being used to study the structural and chemical nature of the intrusion and the evolution of magmatic fluids. This work is being conducted with permission of the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Division of Energy & Mineral Development, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, United States Department of the Interior.

Geologic investigation of Iron Occurrences in the Katangan and Damaran Successions of Southern Africa: A Comparative Study (Michael Hurth, MS)

The primary objective of this study is to document texture, mineralogy, paragenesis, facies changes, geometry, structure, and stratigraphic context of the newly discovered Xaudum iron ore prospect in northern Botswana. A geologic assessment of twelve additional iron occurrences across southern Africa will be also be conducted as part of a comparative study. Literature review, core logging, field mapping, and the creation of three dimensional geologic models in conjunction with transmitted light microscopy, reflected light microscopy, SEM, XRF, and isotopic analyses will be used to characterize the occurrences and provide insight into their genesis.