Hello and welcome to the Geology Department of St. Lawrence University. As the technician for Geology, my routine varies from day to day and season to season… During fair weather “field season” much of the department’s time, mine included, is dedicated to time and work in the field. Geology uses this fair weather time of year to introduce new students to local geology of the North Country and Northeast, to include rocks and minerals, structure and history, and ancient landscapes. For the students who have decided that geology is their "thing", the field trips go far afield to many states and terrains and even islands and other continents. At this busy time you can find me in the background addressing vehicle and travel issues, having tools and supplies ready for the various course field trips and looking ahead to be ready for the labs and the materials needed for the work done in the lab. During the harsher weather of the school year most class and lab time shifts to inside work. At this time you can find me preparing mineral and rock samples, gathering maps and supplies for course work, and working with students and faculty using the tools and equipment of the science. Through it all I remain available and ready to aid students and faculty in their pursuits of geology. Following, please find an abbreviated list of how your technician spends his time.
Geology Technician Responsibilities Include:
- Laboratory preparations and assistance with special projects and field trips;
- Development and implementation of systems for cataloging check in/out of keys and equipment, re-storage, repair and preventive maintenance of lab, field, drafting and audio-visual equipment;
- Curatorial assistance and maintenance of teaching collections;
- Overseeing budgetary data, van maintenance and course load data;
- Stockroom supervision including ordering expendable lab supplies as needed;
- Maintaining safety devices, safety supply inventories, and ensuring compliance with OSHA and SLU regulations where applied to Brown Hall’s Geology facilities;
- Development of skills that support the teaching and research activities of geology students and faculty to include the occasional lab instruction at the introductory level, SEM and X-ray Analysis Assistance;
- Responsibility for maintenance of departmental facilities and equipment (such as rock preparation lab and equipment, flume room, drafting room, and microscope labs).
In case you are curious as to how I got here, following is a brief description of skills used and work performed that I have enjoyed before my employment with St. Lawrence and occasionally continue to exercise these skills during the summer months during my time away from St. Lawrence University.
I began working in the environmental science field shortly after earning a MS degree in 1996, specializing in Geology. My experience includes field investigation and report writing, some geologic mapping, phase 1 and 2 environmental site investigation and environmental compliance inspections on Natural Gas Pipeline construction and restoration. Having been involved in numerous projects in numerous states and having worked with agency and company representatives along with their technical staff has allowed me valuable interpersonal and communications skills required to successfully work with others in satisfactorily completing the tasks at hand. Some of my responsibilities while working outside academia include coordinating my inspection and report preparation schedule during environmental inspections and consulting in compliance issues on natural gas pipeline construction and restoration projects. These experiences give me a solid background for addressing the many and various technician responsibilities needed for supporting the Geology Department’s mission here at St. Lawrence University. Working in industry has also provided me with insights to convey to our students of what is out there and available for work in the field of geology.
What a person does while away from work says as much about that person as the work she/he does to make a living. Like many who live in the North Country, I take advantage of and enjoy the wondrous natural surroundings in this rural region of New York State. Living on a small farm with horses keeps my home life exciting, busy, and fulfilling. When not spending time with the horses and our dogs or doing the many chores that need doing around a small farm my partner, Shirley, and I enjoy working with and riding horses, hiking, canoeing, back country skiing, local travel, motorcycling, snowmobiling, and camping. The region also provides me excellent opportunity to enjoy the abundant wildlife in forest and field, streams and lakes while hunting and fishing in this beautiful region of the state.
It has been my pleasure to move back home to this region and provide aid and support to faculty and students of Geology here at St. Lawrence University. If the chance presents itself, do stop by and let’s talk geology, woods, horses, bikes, or just the journey of life.