Curious what it's like to be a field intern? G.E.M. Environmental is pleased to share a success story from one of our former field interns, Elliott Hoy. Here’s his experience in his own words:
In the summer of 2019, I spent June and July in the desert exploring old mining districts to find and document abandoned mines for future closures. I worked as an intern through AmeriCorps at G.E.M. Environmental, led by Eric Welsh. This trip gave me the opportunity to learn about Geology and gain further perspective to my future.
I am currently a geology student at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. In the coming semester I will be transferring to NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona to finish my bachelor's degree in geology. Before my time at Yavapai, I spent some time traveling and working in IT. It took me a few years to discover a path in life that I enjoyed so much.
While out in the desert, we lived out of a large trailer built and designed by Eric for the expedition. We had a full kitchen, fold-down bunks, showers, a toilet, and a general living area. Our mornings started with breakfast cooked by one of the team members, based on a rotating chore list. We then prepped our gear and loaded the UTVs before heading off. While out in the field we each had a satellite tablet that was used to document the mining features we each found, then used flagging tape to mark them. Lunch was eaten each day out in the field, usually in the last few hours of each working day. Our goal was to be finished with the days work by 3 or 4pm to beat the afternoon heat.
The work was based around assigning danger ratings to mining features. Working with great geologists, such as Eric and Robert, I was able to learn much more about mineralization and localized faulting.
As the days passed and the life of a field geologist became my life, it put into perspective what future life could be like. Along with geology skills, the creation of a livable space in the trailer and dealings with the hardships of day-to-day life, I also developed life skills that will last well past my graduation date.
Whether you are going into field geology, research, or are unsure of your career direction, I would highly recommend an internship, such as this one. While in school and going to classes it is hard to fully grasp what geology means and the types of people that you will be working with unless you participate in an internship. The large variety of skills you’ll learn along with the unique challenges is a great way to further complete that picture. I hope you enjoyed my story.