Meet the Current CREG-Funded Students

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.

Nick HillemeyerNick Hillemeyer

I spent my younger days in the small town of Kingman, AZ exploring the hills and mountains as much as I could. As the product of a geologist, I had the passion for rocks and minerals imparted to me at a young age. When I ventured to get my Bachelor’s degree I decided that following in my father’s footsteps seemed like a good start and I had no other good ideas. As the story goes, the passion was confirmed. I graduated in 2017 from the University of Arizona and received my B.S. in Geosciences. In the same year, I began pursuit of a graduate degree and found my way to my northerly neighbor, Nevada. I am currently working on my M.S. in economic geology with Dr. John Muntean on a new low-sulfidation epithermal discovery called Gravel Creek within the northern portion of the Independence Range, Elko County. My project’s focus is to further characterize the alteration, mineralization, and structural controls of the extraordinarily preserved deposit utilizing field mapping, core and chip logging, petrography, and geochemistry. Outside of the realm of geology I enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting, exploring the lands with my wife and not-so outdoorsy mutt, Marvin, and eating as much food from as many places as possible!

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.

Curtis JohnsonCurtis Johnson

I was raised in the foothills of the North Cascades in western Washington and developed an early love for the outdoors. This led me to pursue a B.S. in geology at the University of Idaho, which I completed in 2013, and my love for the outdoors grew into a passion for geology. During this time, I was fortunate to be picked up as a summer intern with Newmont at the Leeville mine, northern Carlin Trend. It was here, working underground ore control and learning about Carlin-type genetic models, that I began to develop an interest in Eocene magmatism and gold mineralization in the Great Basin. I completed a senior thesis on the relationship of Eocene dikes at Leeville to gold mineralization, which only piqued my interest further in the subject. After a second summer underground, I began an M.S. at Oregon State University working to understand the relationship of the Eocene Emigrant Pass volcanic field to the Carlin Trend through igneous petrology and geochemistry. After completing this in 2015, I landed a production geology position back in Nevada at Newmont’s Phoenix mine, an Eocene porphyry-skarn system. With an interest in the interplay between Eocene magmatism and gold-rich mineralization, there was not a better place to be, and having the opportunity to map miles of highwall to learn the inner details of a porphyry-skarn system was an incredible experience. However, my interest in Eocene magmatism got the best of me, and in fall, 2017 I joined the CREG program as a PhD student working to understand the magmatic roots of gold-rich mineralization at Phoenix and how igneous petrogenesis is linked to metallogenic variation in the Great Basin.

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.

Rob SelwoodRob Selwood

I received my BSc in applied geology from the University of Exeter (UK) in 2011. After graduating I was employed as an exploration geologist on an epithermal project in south east Ecuador. I have since worked on Sediment-hosted copper projects in Zambia and Namibia as both a mine and exploration project geologist for First Quantum Minerals Ltd. As an exploration geologist I focused on green fields exploration and regional generative work, employing project and district scale mapping and large scale geochemical data sets. My graduate work at UNR will continue in that generative vein, focusing on the analysis of regional stream sediment geochemistry from northern Nye County, Nevada, with an emphasis on assessing the potential for Carlin-type gold deposits.