New Geologic Mapping Specialists at NBMG

Two new Geologic Mapping Specialists were recently added to the faculty of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.  These positions are responsible for conducting and managing geologic mapping programs in the state of Nevada as related to the evaluation of natural resources (e.g., mineral, geothermal, and oil-gas) and natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, floods, and landslides).  These positions will allow NBMG to better fulfill its core mission of carrying out geologic framework studies and producing geologic databases necessary for resource and hazard assessments.

Nick Hinz
was recently hired to fill one of two new Geologic Mapping Specialist positions at the NBMG.  His primary disciplines are in field mapping, structural geology, geothermal systems, and volcanic geology.

Nick earned a B.A. in geology from Whitman College and an M.S. in geology from University of Nevada, Reno.  He has previously worked five years in private industry as a consulting geologist and for seven years in a soft money supported (100% grant-funded) position with the NBMG.  The majority of his professional experience has been Nevada-based, focusing on geothermal energy resources, Basin and Range extensional tectonics, and evolution of the Walker Lane.  The scope of his geothermal research has been to define structural and stratigraphic controls of reservoirs, identify regional patterns in resources, and help advance new and existing exploration strategies.  These projects have involved systemic regional assessments, database compilation, detailed geologic mapping, integration of drill-hole and geophysical data sets, structural analyses, and constructing digital 2D and 3D geologic models.

In southern Nevada, Nick has conducted detailed geologic mapping of the Miocene-age Searchlight magmatic system in the lower Colorado River extensional corridor, including distinguishing the details of pluton emplacement and stratification, extensive dike swarms, and constraining the spatial and temporal relationships between magmatism, extension, and mineralization.

In western Nevada, Nick has completed several detailed mapping projects which constrain the evolution of the Walker Lane and help characterize the structural and tectonic setting of geothermal resources in this region.

Nick has previously worked closely with several of the NBMG research geologists including Jim Faulds, Chris Henry, Alan Ramelli, John Bell, and Larry Garside—as well as with faculty in the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, and many of the geothermal companies in Nevada. Nick is currently working on 1:24:000-scale geologic mapping of the Mount Rose 7.5-minute quadrangle near Reno with Alan Ramelli and will be starting work on the Sloan 7.5-minute quadrangle along the south side of Las Vegas Valley next fall.  He will continue to split his time between mapping efforts in both southern and northern Nevada as part of the NBMG geologic mapping program.

Seth Dee
was also recently hired as a Geologic Mapping Specialist with Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and began work at NBMG on April 28, 2014. His areas of expertise are geologic mapping, Quaternary geology, engineering geology, paleoseismology, and earthquake and landslide hazard characterization.

Seth has a B.S. in Geology from the University of Puget Sound and an M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Oregon. He is a licensed Professional Geologist in California and Utah with ten years professional experience performing geologic studies throughout North America, Asia, and the Middle East in the fields of geologic mapping, geologic hazard assessment, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, and geochronology.   Seth has a longstanding interest in the geology of the Basin and Range and is excited to be transitioning into a position with greater focus on geologic mapping and research.  As a mapping geologist at NBMG, Seth will have the opportunity to work on the production of cutting-edge geologic maps that deliver long-term benefit to the economy, public safety, and public understanding of Nevada geology.   His first-hand understanding of the end-user application of NBMG products for research, engineering, and hazard characterization will guide his approach to map production.

Seth’s combined academic and professional experience has prepared him for the technical, administrative, and logistical requirements of this position.  Much of his work has included the production of geologic maps or the direct support of geologic mapping efforts.  Seth’s graduate research at the University of Oregon included bedrock mapping and structural analysis of a metamorphic core complex in the Black Mountains of Death Valley to test two prevailing regional tectonic models.  As a geologist at the USGS, Seth performed U-Pb analysis of zircons and assisted with geochronologic interpretations in support of geologic mapping projects across the U.S. With William Lettis and Associates and Lettis Consultants International, Seth has produced geologic maps for site investigations and geologic hazard characterizations in northern California, Utah, Idaho, Tennessee, Hong Kong, and Papua New Guinea.

Seth’s consulting project experience has exposed him to field work in varied geologic settings—from hazard characterizations of bedrock faults in the southwestern US to Quaternary studies in Asia and California. These experiences provide a foundation of geologic understanding that Seth can apply to mapping the diverse tectonic, stratigraphic and geomorphic conditions found within Nevada.  He has performed subsurface evaluation of ore deposits in Utah and appreciates the complexity of mineral resource assessments and the important role that mineral extraction plays in the Nevada economy.  Seth’s local project experiences include an engineering geological assessment of levee and flood wall upgrades along the Truckee River in Reno and seismic hazard characterization in the northern Walker Lane.

Seth has experience managing budgets, directing personnel, writing proposals, and providing deliverables on schedule for consulting projects, and these skills can be effectively applied to the geologic mapping and funding proposal efforts at NBMG.  He has extensive experience in the application of GIS for the management and interpretation of large geodatabases, as well as the final production of geologic maps for publications and reports.  For the past three years, Seth has employed digital field mapping techniques through the use of GIS/GPS-enabled Toughbooks and iPads, and looks forward to continuing the application of these techniques as the technology evolves.

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