Reflections from Wesley Weisberg
About the Project
I worked with Erin Marsh and Al Hofstra in the Denver USGS Mineral Resources Program office. Our research focused on mineral inclusions in placer gold from the Chicken, AK region to determine provenance and gold deposit type (ie orogenic, intrusion related etc.). I used a combination of Electron Microprobe analyses (EMP) to measure major element abundance and the gold-silver ratio (electrum) in the grains and a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to identify mineral inclusions to assist in separating gold deposit type. Our findings were presented as a talk at the 2016 GSA annual meeting in Denver, CO. The official title of our project was "Geochemistry and preliminary constraints on provenance of placer grains of the Fortymile Gold District, East Central Alaska." Additionally, I have continued to work on the project with Erin Marsh (USGS) and Robert Chapman from the University of Leeds and will be presenting at the upcoming 2018 AME Vancouver Roundup in January.
Most Memorable Experience
My most memorable part of this wonderful opportunity are the friendships I made and the hands-on experienced I gained from this internship! During my first week my primary mentor was in the field so I decided to ask around if anyone had any projects they needed help with. I managed to assist geoscientists Eric Anderson, Karen Kelley, and Todd Hoefen on projects they had. Working with each of these experienced geoscietists opened the door for me to experience different methods, techniques, and instrumentation in addition to my own project. Throughout the summer, I bounced around each different project as well as finishing my own. My experience during my NAGT/USGS Cooperative internship was wonderfully diverse and educational!
Prior to this internship my goal was to obtain my Masters in Geology. Additionally, I was interested in pursuing a career in economic geology. My 2016 internship was right after I graduated with my BS in Geology from Missouri State University and ended prior to me starting Central Washington University's Master of Geology program. My goals during my internship were to make connections with USGS geologists for potential future employment, absorb as much experience as I could while working for the survey to determine if economic geology was right for me, and to enjoy the amazing opportunity that allowed my to work in a field I am so passionate about!
How the program contributed
My time working at the Denver USGS Mineral Resources Program enabled me to gain valuable on the job experience for multiple disciplines within the geosciences. The NAGT/USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program allowed me to follow my passion for geology and solidified my desire to pursue a career in economic geology. Furthermore, my supervisor offered me a Pathways position to come back and work at the USGS once my masters was completed! I am still in contact with her and hope to start building the position soon! My participation in this internship was truly amazing!! Thank you NAGT and to the USGS for allowing me to follow my dreams!