- BS in Geology, minor in Math from University of Puget Sound, cum laude ’11
- MS in Earth Sciences, Biogeology track from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, ’18
How I Became A Geologist:
My family goes camping a lot so I was outdoors a lot as a kid. In the summer during high school, I went on canoe trips with YMCA Camp Widjiwagan (based in Ely, MN) culminating with a 6-week whitewater canoeing trip through the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
When I started college that fall, I took my first Geology class and I think I liked it so much because it helped explain why the different landscapes I had seen look the way they do… how rivers and glaciers change a landscape, how it’s influenced by the bedrock underneath.
After that one class, I was hooked and haven’t looked back since. A college class in “Mineral Resources and the Environment” sparked my interest in economic geology. I’ve always loved working in Minnesota because it has everything from Archaean to Quaternary geology.
My past experience includes: working with students as a Peer Research Advisor at Puget Sound University, attending Precambrian Field Camp at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and working in the University of Minnesota geomicrobiology lab under Dr. Dan Jones. After my academic studies I worked at the Minnesota Geological Survey as a field technician, where I gained experience in bedrock geology mapping, passive seismic surveying, geophysical well logging, and glacial till studies.
My geologic fields of interest are: geomicrobiology, Granite-Greenstone terranes & Precambrian geology, orogenic gold, biogeochemistry, paleoenvironments, environmental geochemistry
Evaluations & Reporting
FAVORITE PAST PROJECT
My research in grad school focused on removing metals from effluent at the Soudan Underground Iron Mine site using native fungi and bacteria. I enjoy thinking about the interactions between biology and geology, especially at small scales.
My grandfather worked for the Bureau of Mines trying to figure out how to drill on the Moon. It would be really cool to follow up on that and work on a project that studied mining in space. Another (more plausible) dream project would be biomining, using microbes to sequester metals from low-grade ore and waste rock.
WHY BIG ROCK?
“I’m excited to learn and grow with Big Rock on a hard-working team that values creativity, collaboration, and care for each other and the environments in which we work.”
Liz Roepke, Project Geologist
READY TO MAKE THE CLIMB?
Big Rock is continually looking for talented, driven professionals that want to be part of a young, energetic, and growth-minded team.