There is no magical secret to effective teaching or learning. Each student has his/her own mechanisms of learning and learns at their own pace. The most effective learning actually occurs outside the formal classroom setting. Students need to be encouraged to not simply complete class assignments and memorize facts and concepts to pass exams, but to take time and reflect on their classroom experience. Why and how can I best use what I have learned in the class to further my goals as a professional geoscientist?
Geology is first and foremost a field science. It cannot be simulated in the classroom or laboratory. The best learning environment is small groups and field trips. My major courses (Mineralogy, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Geochemistry and Ore Deposits) all include a field component that involves mapping, rock/mineral sampling, or field lectures at stops of geologic significance. The importance of senior thesis research can't be overemphasized. During the senior thesis the student has the opportunity to utilize all of their classroom learning to conceptualize and ultimately attempt to solve a "real world" problem. This experience provides an introduction to the future expectations of the graduate geologist. With this in mind, I encourage all of my thesis students to publish or present the results of their research in journals or at professional meetings.
My primary research emphasis is ore deposit geochemistry with an area of concentration on ore fluid evolution in epithermal precious metal deposits and mesothermal base metal deposits. Ore fluids are modeled based upon fluid inclusion geothermometry and geobarometry, and major and trace element variation. I have also examined the relationship of ores to structural setting, mineral paragenesis and host rock petrology. Much of my research has been centered in the California Mojave Desert.
More recently my research has focused on Cenozoic volcanic rocks throughout the Mojave Desert and Owens Valley. Specifically, I am attempting to build a database of major and trace element chemistry of various volcanic fields and relate the elemental variations and compositional differences to the evolving tectonics of California. I have also been actively mapping the structure and stratigraphy of the eastern Mojave Desert (Mountain Pass area) with a goal of relating Neogene detachment faulting, Basin and Range extension and dextral shear. I have also advised and directed thesis research on the practical aspects of ore deposit evaluation and mine development.
My experience in mining and mineral exploration spans more than three decades. I have evaluated base and precious metal properties throughout the United States, ferrous metals in the Mid-continent and industrial minerals and commodities in southern California. I have also prepared baseline environmental assessments and petrographic and geochemical reports on ores and mill products to address mining and metallurgical concerns of operating companies. I have been involved in all aspects of mineral exploration from literature searches, to property acquisition, to field mapping and sampling, geochemical and geophysical surveys, ore reserve estimation and computer modeling. I have also consulted on environmental issues faced by active coal mines.
Please see MY RESUME for additional details of my experience. Feel free to contact me via e-mail or by phone if you have questions or projects that might require my services. I can also provide students for field and/or office work including basic research on property history and ownership, field sampling or petrographic studies. (Please note: I DO NOT provide consulting services for litigants in ongoing lawsuits or advice to lawyers.)