About me

Taking in Flaming Gorge in northeast Utah

I grew up in a rural factory and farming town called Gwinner among the fields and wide open skies of North Dakota. I have very fond memories of spending entire summers outdoors building forts, having water-gun fights with the neighborhood kids, hosting camper sleepovers in my backyard, and spending summer weekends in the lakes country of Minnesota. After graduating high school I moved to the “big city” of Fargo, ND, to attend North Dakota State University to study chemistry.

At NDSU, I made fast friends with someone who would change my life forever by suggesting I take a geology class with her. Cheyanne Dusek had no idea what she was getting me into, but after that class I was hooked and never turned back. My undergrad career at NDSU was a fantastic experience filled with great friends, fun geology trips, and getting my hands dirty with a variety of research experiences in biology, soils, and geology. The faculty there really helped me transition from someone who had no idea what quartz was into a capable geologist.

My husband, Mike, and I atop Mt. Ida in Rocky Mountain National Park

After graduating from NDSU in December 2015, I packed up and flew down to Santiago, Chile, to start my 9-month stay at the Universidad de Chile doing geology research supported by a US Student Fulbright Grant. During my time in South America I saw some amazing geology by visiting world-class mines and traveling, studied the geochemistry of thermal springs in south-central Chile, befriended a fantastic group of international geoscientists, and reached Spanish fluency. Those months were some of the hardest and most rewarding of my life and I feel incredibly grateful to have had that experience. I kept a blog on my time in Chile – find it here.

Upon returning to the US, I had a brief stint as a substitute teacher for Fargo Public Schools before accepting a summer contract with the Wyoming State Geological Survey in Laramie, WY, in 2017. I got to spend the summer doing field work with Ranie Lynds to map the Fort Steele 1:24,000-scale quadrangle in south-central Wyoming, which was awesome. That fall I was offered a second contract through the spring to map the subsurface geology of Upper Cretaceous units in the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming as part of an unconventional reservoir project. It’s safe to say I really took to the mountains and way of life in Laramie and had a fantastic year with the folks at the Survey.

Now, I am in my third year as a graduate student at the University of Michigan. I’m recently married, live in Ann Arbor, MI, and am working in Dr. Adam Simon’s research group. I’m a sort of mix of experimental petrologist and economic geologist, and my first project involves growing the mineral apatite from a magma melt to study how sulfur behaves – more technical details on that on my Research page. I’m grateful to have an amazing lab family, actual family, and to have many new friends from all over the world who support me and remind me what’s important in life.

Besides doing geology, I love to cook, hike, make things out of wood, paint, read, and enjoy the company of friends, family, and dogs.