Sponsored By The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

The Earth: Guests (2014)

Dr. Virginia Gillerman

Geologist, Idaho Geological Survey

Ginna has been a research geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey (part of the University of Idaho) since 1989. She staffs a one-person office in Boise for the Survey, and she is also their economic geologist. Prior to moving to Boise from Reno, Ginna received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her undergraduate degree from Carleton College. She started her career in mineral deposits with AMAX Exploration, working in the Railroad Mining District of Elko County, Nevada. After grad school she spent 5 years in exploration with Anaconda Minerals Company in Reno, exploring for gold and polymetallic deposits in Utah, Nevada and Alaska. Following a year of teaching back at Carleton College, she returned to Nevada as a contract geologist, working mostly on gold exploration for several major companies.

In 1989, she moved to Boise to staff a new satellite office (located at Boise State University) for the Survey. She learned about Idaho mining from Dr. Earl Bennett, then the State Geologist, and was given the task of preparing the annual review of Idaho's mining industry. With the IGS, she has multiple responsibilities, including reports and public inquiries on ore deposits, energy and the geology of SW Idaho, the annual mining and exploration review (typically presented at Northwest Mining Association meeting and in print), and research projects. Specific projects have included geologic mapping in the Mayfield, Hagerman and other areas in Idaho, inventories of abandoned and inactive mines on public lands, and research on geology and geochronology of rare earth and thorium deposits in the Lemhi Pass District of Lemhi County, Idaho. Over the past 20 years, she has also taught several classes on "Mineral Resources and Mining" at Boise State University. Current research projects include studies on quality and chemistry of rock types in aggregate used for highway concrete and gold deposition in the Stibnite Mining District of central Idaho.

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson

Volcanologist, Boise State University

Dr. Johnson is geophysics professor in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University. His research focus is on eruption dynamics using geophysical tools such as seismometers, geodetic tools, infrasound sensors, and thermal and optical monitoring. He works at volcanoes all over the world, but focuses a large part of his work on volcanoes in Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico. Dr. Johnson also uses some of these geophysical tools to study avalanches (volcanic and snow) as well as thunder from storms.

Dr. Johnson developed his primary research passion (for volcanoes) during a year spent living in Ecuador when he was in high school. In addition to learning Spanish, he climbed most of the high volcanoes in the country and decided that he wanted to become a volcanologist. Since then he has pursued his research at Stanford University (BS and MS), University of Washington (PhD), the University of Hawaii and University of New Hampshire (as postdocs), and at New Mexico Tech (as faculty) before moving to Boise in 2012.

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