Archive | April 2015

Lisa Shevenell Retires from NBMG

Lisa Shevenell was hired as a Research Hydrogeologist at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology in 1993 and retired  from NBMG as  a Professor on January 1, 2015. She was awarded academic tenure in 1998 and promoted to full Professor in 2004. During the course of her career at NBMG, Shevenell specialized in the areas of geothermal resource exploration and assessment, pit lake geochemistry, and isotope and karst hydrology. Her primary focus in the last 13 years at NBMG was in geothermal resource evaluations where she led a team responsible for finding new geothermal areas in Nevada that were ultimately developed into power-producing systems.

While at NBMG, her service to the community was extensive as Shevenell served on numerous state and national boards and committees:  member  of the Nevada Geothermal Technical Advisory Panel to NV Energy, founding member of the National Geothermal Data System (and Steering committee member), the Science Advisory Board to the National Geothermal Data Center initiative led by the Arizona Geological Survey (2009–2014), Geothermal Energy Association Technical Advisory Committee (2008–present), Department of Energy Geothermal Risk Assessment Committee, Exploration Technology Group (2009), member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Renewable Energy formed by Senator Harry Reid (2008–2010), and Board of Directors member to the Geothermal Resources Council (various subcommittees, 2005–2014), general program chair (2008, 2015) and technical program chair (2005, 2007, 2012) for the annual Geothermal Resources Council Meeting, member of the Renewable Energy Task Force reporting to the Governor and Nevada Legislature, co-founder and former Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, and co-developer of the National Geothermal Academy (first run in the summer of 2011), and member of the Truckee Meadows Community College Geothermal Technician Training Curricular Advisory Board.

Shevenell has co-authored and published 180 peer-reviewed journal papers, NBMG Bulletins, Reports and Maps, symposia papers, and proceedings papers and nearly 200 contract reports. Shevenell delivered hundreds of presentations to scientific and non-technical audiences, and was successfully awarded over 90 grants and contracts from federal and private sources totaling greater than $15 million with which she supported over 100 undergraduate and graduate students.

See selected publications here:

Lisa Shevenell will be greatly missed at NBMG.

John Bell Retires from NBMG

John W. Bell was hired as an Engineering Geologist at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology in 1976 and retired from NBMG as a Professor on January 1, 2015. He was awarded academic tenure in 1981 and promoted to full Professor in 1988. During the course of his career at NBMG, John specialized in the areas of Quaternary geology and geomorphology, engineering and urban geology, paleoseismology, earthquake hazards, and groundwater-induced land subsidence. He conducted a wide range of research on these topics in areas of socio-economic importance to Nevada, and he served as a liaison to the Nevada geotechnical industry providing technical assistance in the area of urban geology and hazards. He also conducted conventional geologic quadrangle mapping, initially as part of an early environmental geology program at NBMG, and published a number of the principal NBMG geologic maps for the Las Vegas and Reno urban areas. During his last several years at NBMG, he taught the GEOL 441/641 course in Geomorphology and became the advisor for a number of geology graduate students.

With the growing interest in geothermal energy in Nevada, John most recently has been involved in the application of geomorphic tools such as LiDAR to the exploration for geothermal potential.

In 2002, John was awarded a NASA research grant that established the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) Laboratory to use satellite radar imagery to study land subsidence due to groundwater withdrawal in Nevada. Since that time, the lab has supported a number of graduate students and conducted subsidence studies in Las Vegas, Pahrump, Mesquite, Reno, Fallon, and Eureka. In the past several years these studies were extended to mine dewatering, and a number of InSAR studies were conducted for the mining industry within the area of the Carlin trend. The InSAR lab also extended research into the area of earthquake hazard, and John used the methodology to study the ground deformation associated with the 2008 Reno-Mogul earthquake swarm.

John received several awards over the course of his career, including selection as the Mackay School of Mines Researcher of the Year in 1981, receiving the Publication of the Year Award from the Association of Engineering Geologists in 2002, and receiving the Award for Excellence from the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council in 2002. In 2004 he received the Geological Society of America, Engineering Geology Division Award for the paper “Land Subsidence in Las Vegas, Nevada, 1935–2000: New Geodetic Data Show Evolution, Revised Spatial Patterns, and Reduced Rates”. He was elected a Fellow in the Geological Society of America in 2005.

John has published more than 110 peer-reviewed journal papers, NBMG bulletins and maps, US Geological Survey Professional Papers and maps, field trip guidebooks, symposia papers, and proceedings papers, as well as given many professional talks.

See a list of John’s publications here:

John Bell will be greatly missed at NBMG.

NBMG Welcomes Alex Nesbitt

A message from Jim Faulds:
Please welcome our new administrative assistant Alex Nesbitt, who started work April 1. Alex has been with the UNR College of Science for several years, first in the Dean’s office and then in the Biology Department.  He therefore brings a great deal of experience and know-how to this position.

DGSE Lecture—Monday April 6: A Seismic Reflection Image for the Base of a Tectonic Plate

Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering Colloquium Presentation

A Seismic Reflection Image for the Base of a Tectonic Plate
Presented by Dr. John Louie, UNR Professor of Geophysics
Held Monday, April 6, 2015, 4:00 PM
Location: DMS 105 (The Davidson Mathematics and Science Center at UNR):

Abstract: Plate tectonics successfully describes the surface of Earth as a mosaic of moving lithospheric plates. But it is not clear what happens at the base of the plates, the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The LAB has been well imaged with converted teleseismic waves, whose 10–40-kilometre wavelength controls the structural resolution. Here we use explosion-generated seismic waves (of about 0.5-kilometre wavelength) to form a high-resolution image for the base of an oceanic plate that is subducting beneath North Island, New Zealand. Our 80-kilometre-wide image is based on P-wave reflections and shows an approximately 15° dipping, abrupt, seismic wave-speed transition (less than 1 kilometre thick) at a depth of about 100 kilometres. The boundary is parallel to the top of the plate and seismic attributes indicate a P-wave speed decrease of at least 8 ±3 per cent across it. A parallel reflection event approximately 10 kilometres deeper shows that the decrease in P-wave speed is confined to a channel at the base of the plate, which we interpret as a sheared zone of ponded partial melts or volatiles. This is independent, high-resolution evidence for a low-viscosity channel at the LAB that decouples plates from mantle flow beneath, and allows plate tectonics to work.

A message from Scott McCoy, Assistant Professor, UNR Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering:
Here is John’s recent paper in Nature so you can be ready with good questions: A seismic reflection image for the base of a tectonic plate

Job Announcements from BLM

blm-logoMessage from BLM: We are pleased to announce new, exciting positions available at BLM – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.   It is our hope that qualified, career oriented individuals at your organization or other professionals known to you will actively consider this position and apply accordingly.  Efforts on your part to disseminate this information are greatly appreciated.

Position Information:
Job Description:  Geologist
Announcement Number:  NV Merit-2015-0187
Location(s) of position:  Elko, NV, US
Salary:  $48,403 – $76,131
Applications will be accepted until:  04/09/2015.
For additional information on this job posting, please click here.

Position Information:
Job Description:  Outdoor Recreation Planner
Announcement Number:  NV Merit-2015-0194
Location(s) of position:  Elko, NV, US
Salary:  $48,403 – $76,131
Applications will be accepted until:  04/16/2015.
For additional information on this job posting, please click here.

Position Information:
Job Description:  Range Technician (Asst Fire Helicopter Crew Supervisor)
Announcement Number:  OR-DEU-2015-0104
Location(s) of position:  Hines, OR, US
Salary:  $39,570 – $56,974
Applications will be accepted until:  04/07/2015.
For additional information on this job posting, please click here.