I trained as a geologist from 1969-1975, and then worked as a full-time geologist for the United States Geological Survey until 1979. This real-life work experience grounded my subsequent academic teaching career, and provides a real-life model for students seeking non-academic jobs. I continue to work as a professional geologist when consulting.
Field Assistant (GS 5) 1975 Summer – ALASKA – USGS entry-level “grunt” or “go-fer” as a summer field assistant working for multiple Alaska Branch investigators, based from the research vessel Donald J. Miller, anchored in Lituya Bay. Midway through the summer I began to work for the Quaternary geologist Thomas D. Hamilton on two separate tasks: a reconnaissance of the geological hazards associated with the new Haul Road for the yet-to-be-built Alaska Pipeline; and a helicopter-based glacial mapping project of the Itkillik and Sagavinirktok Quadrangles, each the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
Geological Assistant (GS 5) 1975-1976 – MENLO PARK, CA – USGS full-time geological assistant: field logistics, data analysis, aerial photo interpretation, geologic mapping, field data collection, and manuscript review.
Geologist (GS 9-13) 1976-1979 – SEATTLE, WA – Full-time USGS geologist assigned to my own project involving isostatically uplifted glacial deltas. During the summer of 1978 I was loaned from the USGS to the U.S. National Park Service to do Quaternary mapping in Denali National Park.
Photo: Archaeological investigation at Swan Point, Alaska.