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Careers: Alumni Profiles

Michael Vanden Berg '00

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR?

"I am fascinated by our wonderful planet and want to learn as much as possible about it."

MEMORIES OF CALVIN

  • Christian camaraderie
  • Wonderful geology field trips
  • Outstanding geology professors

WHAT AT CALVIN PREPARED YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?

"The writing and public speaking skills I obtained at Calvin are extremely helpful. Also, the geology classes more than prepared me for my Master's degree."

LIFE AFTER CALVIN:

  • Master's program in Geology at the University of Utah. As part of my thesis research, I sailed on Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 199 as a physical properties specialist. During this two month cruise, we collected deep sea cores from the Equatorial Pacific as a means to study Cenozoic paleoclimate.
  • Completed MSc in Geology in December 2002.
  • Worked for the Utah Energy Office for 2 years.
  • Married a geologist.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?

I'm currently working in the Energy and Minerals section of the Utah Geological Survey. I work on a variety of economic geology projects from studying Utah's oil shale resources to studying potential reservoirs for carbon sequestration. I also write the annual "Utah Coal Report" and keep track of all Utah's energy statistics. I serve on several energy-related legislative committees and am treasurer of the Utah Geological Association. I also cite and install 20- and 50-meter anemometer towers as a means to encourage development of Utah's wind energy resource.

When I am not working, I am taking advantage of Utah's wonderful landscape. I mountain bike, ski, hike, camp, golf, etc. etc. every chance I get.

ADVICE TO CURRENT STUDENTS

"Go to conferences (GSA, AGU), talk with professionals, make connections. Try to find work as an intern in a geology-related company. For those of you who would like to pursue a Master's degree; e-mail professors whose interests match your own and inquire about their research. Ask them if they are taking on new grad students. Personal connections, even over e-mail, go a long way."

Major/minor

geology

Career tags

energy and minerals specialist, economic geology

Contact

michaelvandenberg@utah.gov