Meet the Current CREG-Funded Students

Tracy AndersonTracy Anderson

I received my B.S. in Geology from Utah Valley University in April 2011.  I originally grew up in Washington state where I developed a love for the outdoors.  I have worked as a contract geologist in the mining industry for the past 3 years on a variety of deposits including: Twin Creeks, Firecreek, a small barite exploration project in the Shoshone Range, and Rochester, which sparked my interest in ore deposits.  I returned to school in January 2015 to obtain a M.S. thesis in economic geology under advisement of John Muntean.  My thesis area is the Rochester Mine in Pershing County, Nevada owned by Coeur Mining, Inc.  The focus of my work is to test competing hypotheses for silver enrichment in the supergene environment. This study is the first of its kind in Nevada, and may have broad implications for better understanding of silver mobility in similar deposits in the Great Basin as well as settings around the world.  In my spare time I enjoy mountain biking, skiing, and taking my dog running.

Carli BaloghCarli Balogh

I'm from metro Detroit and received a B.S. in earth and environmental science with minors in geology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan in 2014. I've spent the last two years working on continental paleoclimate research while focusing my academics on geochemistry and ore deposits. In my free time I enjoy spending time outdoors, reading science fiction, and cheering on the University of Michigan football team. I am working on an M.S. thesis under the supervision of Peter Vikre (USGS) and John Muntean. My graduate research at UNR will focus on the volcanic stratigraphy, hydrothermal alteration, and mineral deposits in the Sweetwater Mountains with a comparison to the Bodie Hills volcanic field.

Wilson BonnerWilson Bonner

I earned my B.S. in geology from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Upon graduating in 2009, I spent three years in Washington, DC working in geoscience policy. I was an intern with the House Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment before accepting a position with the American Geosciences Institute. At AGI, I worked with Congress and federal agencies to support funding of geoscience programs in the federal budget. My graduate work at UNR will be focused on the Cove Au-Ag deposit southwest of Battle Mountain, Nevada. I am investigating the spatial and temporal relationship between Carlin-style gold mineralization and polymetallic mineralization at Cove. Outside of geology, I am an avid music fan and have seen a Steely Dan “Aja” drum solo live. I am from Charlotte, NC.

Micah ClaypooleMicah Claypoole

I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska and received my BS in Geological Sciences from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2013. During my summers as an undergraduate, I worked on green-field exploration projects in western and central Alaska Range, the foothills of the Wrangell Mountains, and in interior Alaska. After my BS, I worked as a hydrologic technician with the USGS in Alaska, surveying and monitoring streams and rivers for bridge scour hazards.  I also carried out geophysical surveys pf permafrost along the Yukon River near the Arctic Circle. In 2015, I began my MS at UNR under the direction of Dr. Mike Ressel. My thesis aims to document the timing and nature of shear-hosted gold mineralization at the Mineral Ridge deposit in west-central Nevada. I am using field mapping, geochemistry, petrography, and radiometric dating to figure out timing of mineralization relative to metamorphism, deformation, and magmatism. Outside of geology, I enjoy fishing, packraft adventures, snowboarding, and exploring my new home in Nevada.

David FreedmanDavid Freedman

In the winter of 1994, a blizzard uprooted several enormous trees in the forest behind my family’s southern Pennsylvania home. When the weather cleared, I was awestruck at the carnage and tremendous voids left where their roots had torn soil and rock from the frozen ground. Although I was only a toddler at the time, that dynamic environment became my childhood playground, and instilled in me a fascination with the natural world. As an outlet during my adolescence I was annually shipped to the Rocky Mountains to build trails in Idaho’s iconic Frank Church Wilderness and was quickly captivated by the West. I couldn’t bear to leave the Cordillera for my undergraduate studies and earned my Bachelor’s degree in geology from Colorado College, during which I completed a thesis on Neoproterozoic sandstone injectities and cut my teeth in mineral exploration on the western flank of Alaska’s Brooks Range. Here at the University of Nevada I am pursuing a MS under Dr. Ressel to determine links among a range of apparent porphyry, vein, and Carlin-type mineralization styles exposed across seven kilometers of the tilted Cherry Creek Range, in collaboration with Summit Mining International.

Elizabeth HollingsworthElizabeth Hollingsworth

Following completion of my Bachelor’s in 2003 at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, I immediately began a Master’s under the direction of Dr. Doug Crowe at the University of Georgia, Athens.  My M.S. thesis was part of a larger NSF-funded, multidisciplinary study to evaluate the relationships between hydrothermal fluid flow and microbiological communities living in an active hydrothermal system within the Uzon caldera, Kamchatka, Russia.  Using both isotope and elemental chemistry, I attempted to trace the evolution of thermal waters, gas, and mineral precipitation to ultimately form a model of fluid flow for the caldera.  In 2006, I moved to Alaska to work on a polymetallic massive sulfide deposit near Juneau known as Greens Creek.  I spent nine years working primarily in a helicopter-supported surface exploration program, with some time spent in underground exploration and the on-site assay lab.  I enjoyed my time in industry, but decided it was time to pursue a PhD.  I subsequently found a perfect match at the University of Nevada, Reno under the direction of Dr. Mike Ressel.  I started January of 2015 and will soon begin my first field season exploring the relationship between Carlin-type and intrusion-related gold deposits as well as the Carlin-type to epithermal transition in the Carlin Trend, Nevada.   The photo is proof for the next time I tell my ‘Big Alaskan Fish’ story.

Steve HowellSteve Howell

I earned my BS in geology from Western Washington University in 2006. While at WWU I interned for two summers on the Carlin Trend with Newmont Mining. Upon graduating I spent two and a half years working with Newmont at their Midas operations as an underground mine geologist. In 2010 I began working with Avalon Development in Fairbanks Alaska as an exploration geologist. With Avalon I contributed to Contango’s Tetlin project as well as International Tower Hill’s Livengood project. In the spring of 2011 I joined Aurora Geosciences and gained experience as a project geologist at PNI’s MAN project and Hecla’s Greens Creek mine. I consulted briefly in the spring of 2012 mapping banded iron formations in Brazil for a private Canadian firm. My graduate work at UNR is focused on the evolution of the bulk-minable epithermal gold system at Round Mountain in the Toquima Caldera Complex.

Robert JohnsonRobert Johnson

I grew up north of Chicago and completed my B.S. in Geology at Indiana University in 2010. After graduation, I joined Barrick and Newmont’s Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture mine as a summer intern. After the internship, I was hired as a mine geologist working primarily with the production drilling group. In 2014, I moved to a project geologist role overseeing the production and near-mine exploration drill programs where I focused on enhancing near-term LOM production. While I enjoyed working at TRJV, and more importantly the people I worked with, I decided that I wanted to expand in a more technical direction and attend graduate school to obtain a M.S. in Economic Geology. I am working with Dr. John Muntean investigating Turquoise Ridge’s hydrothermal features in the siliciclastic and volcanic rock packages overlying the buried TR deposit. The ultimate goal of my thesis is to define a hydrothermal footprint of exhausted Carlin fluids within the overlying siliciclastic and volcanic rocks that indicates Carlin-type mineralization at depth. Beyond geology, I like snowboarding, fishing, exploring Nevada, giving my dog belly rubs, and reading probably too much science fiction.

Steve HowellSergey Koneyshev

I graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in Geology and Natural Sciences from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Upon graduation, I spent two years working in the mineral industry, including the Whistler deposit, an exploration project in south-central Alaska, and at Greens Creek Mine, a VMS deposit in Southeast Alaska. Subsequently, I started my M.S. in Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno with Dr. Tommy Thompson. My thesis focused on the geochemistry and petrography of the Beartrack Mine, in Lemhi County, Idaho. Presently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Geology under the guidance of Dr. John Muntean. My project focuses on characterizing the Carlin-style gold mineralization in the Yellow Pine-Stibnite mining district in central Idaho and comparing it to the Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada. In my spare time I enjoy watching and playing sports, including football and baseball. I also like camping, hiking, fishing, and spending time with my wife and four-legged pal, Samwise.

Ajeet MilliardAjeet Milliard

As is true for almost any PhD student, my path to pursue such a degree is a long and winding one.  I received a BS in Geology from Oregon State University in 2008 where I continued on to do a MS project focusing on structural geology and fault processes.  My master’s research project focused on the transition zone between continental contraction and extension, from north to south, respectively, east of the flanks of Mt Hood.  The proximity to the Cascade Mountains was a well-executed plan to feed the ski-bum that dwells in me.   During the revision portion of thesis writing, I began working on oil and gas wells as a mud-logger in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and California. Shortly after defending my thesis in January of 2011 and a dip in petroleum drilling activity, I acquired a full time position in Exploration Geology with Newmont Mining Corporation.   During my tenure with Newmont I worked on the Long Canyon project in both an exploration and development geology capacity, until deciding to return to school for a doctorate in January 2014.  My current project is not far flung from my position at Newmont, continuing work on the gold mineralization occurrence in the Pequop Mountains.  I will be evaluating time-space relationships between mineralization and igneous activity, structures and hydrothermal activity that formed the deposit(s).

Jutin MillliardJustin Milliard

I earned my B.S. in professional geology from the University of Montana and my M.S. in structural geology from Oregon State University.  In between degrees I worked as both an intern at the Greens Creek Mine in Alaska and as a drill site geologist in the oil patch of western Colorado and eastern Utah.  My M.S. thesis focused on the tectono-volcanic development of a series of mid-Miocene basins in southeastern Oregon.  Next, I spent two years on active duty as an officer in the United States Navy before transitioning to reserve status while working in mineral exploration.  I was first employed searching for IOCG, epithermal and porphyry deposits in Chile, South America followed by exhalative deposits in Montana.  Most recently I have worked for Klondex Gold and Silver at the Fire Creek Exploration Project, a low-sulfidation epithermal deposit in mid-Miocene volcanics, which has many things in common with my the field area for my M.S.  While at Fire Creek an idea for a research project was hatched that, with strong support from Klondex and the CREG program, would eventually develop into my PhD thesis.  The project will be focused on the development of the northern Nevada rift and understanding the links between tectonism, volcanism and epithermal deposit formation in both time and space.

Patrick QuillenPatrick Quillen

I previously lived in Duluth, Minnesota before moving to Reno during the summer of 2014 in pursuit of a Masters degree in Geology. I received my B.S. from the University of Minnesota Duluth, with a focus in Mining and Exploration Geology and a minor in Chemistry. I am working with Dr. John Muntean and Renaissance Gold on determining time-space relationships between magmatism, alteration and mineralization in the Buffalo canyon area of the Union district, Nevada. I have a general interest in all aspects of science, but prefer geology, and more specifically economic geology because of its practical, real world implications.  I also enjoy economic geology because it combines a wide variety of disciplines within geology, such as structural geology, petrology, field geology, geochemistry, and tectonics. My hobbies include various outdoor activities and are not limited to, but include golfing, hiking, playing sports and sailing.

Other UNR Graduate Students Doing Research in Economic Geology


Gilberto Martinez-Esparza

Gilberto Martinez-Esparza

I am PhD student in economic geology at the University of Nevada, Reno under the supervision of Tommy Thompson. My financial support comes from the Mexican Geological Survey (SGM). I graduated from Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP) Mexico with two degrees. My BS is in geologist engineering and I completed an undergraduate thesis entitled “Geochemistry of Andesitic Rocks of the San Luis Potosí Volcanic Field”. My MS is in Applied Geology with a specialization in evolution of volcanic sequences.  My MS thesis was entitled “Geochemistry of Basic-Intermediate Volcanism from Eocene to Quaternary: Its importance on the Evolution of the San Luis Potosí Volcanic Field”. As an employee of SGM I generated mining-related geological and geochemical maps in different geological settings, mainly in the central and north-northeast portion of Mexico. The mapping covered several types of mineral deposits, including hydrothermal metal deposits, volcanic industrial mineral deposits (e.g., opal, dimensional rocks, and clay for the cement industry), and roll-front uranium. Immediately after obtaining my PhD, I will contribute in exploration projects at SGM, and in the future I hope to become a professor keeping and continue to research mineral deposits.