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Published October 05, 2021
By Christine Reed
The School of Energy Resources (SER) is pleased to welcome Garrett Gay to the Center for Economic Geology Research (CEGR) as the newest research scientist on the team.
Hailing from Rochester, NY, Gay made his way to Wyoming after an undergraduate research experience to Wyoming as part of his degree program at the University of Rochester. He earned his B.S. in geochemistry, graduating in 2018.
Gay has developed an area of expertise centered around Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and geochemistry. He wrote his senior thesis on the REE concentration in crocodile, shark and mammal teeth.
While at UW, Gay earned his M.S. in geology and geophysics under the supervision of Dr. John Kaszuba and Dr. Susan Swapp. His focus was on low temperature and low pressure REE geochemistry in uranium roll front deposits.
Throughout his degree, Gay also worked on projects funded by SER in the Center for Economic Geology Research. He developed an in-house process to prepare samples for analysis via inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and has been working directly with the department since June 2021.
In addition to his work in CEGR, Gay was also involved in research projects in the UW chemical engineering department. Working with Dr. Patrick Johnson, he helped the lab produce and scale-up the production of nanoparticles for different health related projects.
Prior to completing his master’s degree in August 2021, Gay gained valuable field-work experience with the Wyoming State Geological Survey, helping to map bedrock, and analyze coal geochemistry from the Kemmerer Coal Mine.
In his new position at SER, Gay will continue to utilize and expand his area of expertise in geochemistry and REE occurrences by aiding the recently launched Department of Energy (DEO) funded carbon-ore, rare earth, and critical mineral (CORE-CM) projects in the Powder River Basin (PRB) and the Greater Green River Basins (GGRB).
“I am really excited to be working in this area of study at the nexus of geology, engineering, and economics,” says Gay. “It is really interesting to expand beyond geology, and include practicalities from an economic and engineering stand-point. The projects in CEGR are so critical, and I look forward to being a part of something that can make an actual difference when different disciplines combine to create results.”
Gay will be focusing on the practical analysis of acquiring coal samples and prepping them for data.
“We are really pleased to have Garrett on board with CEGR in a more permanent position,” says CEGR Director, Fred McLaughlin. “Garrett has been a pleasure to work with while he finished up his degree and we are excited for the skills and knowledge that he brings to our ongoing projects.”