Reno is ground zero for interesting geology. With the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the west and the Great Basin to the east, seemingly endless research opportunities exist within easy reach of geologists. That is one of the things that brought Andrew Zuza to the area.
"It's hard to beat living on the east side of the Sierras and having a whole vast expanse of Nevada to explore on the weekends," said Zuza, who started work last semester as an assistant professor and survey geologist with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, a public service department in the University's College of Science.
His research with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology will focus on a variety of topics, including exploration of hydrocarbon potential in eastern central Nevada. Zuza has also conducted field mapping throughout the region in hopes of getting funding for studies related to earthquake faults, geothermal potential, magmatic and volcanic processes, and the geologic history of the area over the last billion years.
In addition to his research, Zuza is also excited about his work in the classroom, which this semester includes an introductory field geology course.
"In other schools or organizations, you could do research and teach, or act as a state survey geologist, but rarely do everything," Zuza said. "I love conducting geologic research, but also wish to teach students and fulfill the societal role that a survey geologist would."
Jim Faulds, director of the Bureau and the Nevada State Geologist, is thrilled to have
as a part of the team.
"Dr. Zuza brings expertise and innovative approaches to structural geology and tectonics to the Bureau," Faulds said. "We are very pleased to welcome him."
Zuza received his doctorate in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles in the spring of 2016, spent a summer as an instructor for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and in 2011 received his bachelor of science degree in Science of Earth Systems - Geologic Sciences from Cornell University, where he graduated magna cum laude with Distinction in Research.
"I have had very positive experiences in moving to Reno and integrating into the University," said Zuza, echoing Faulds' enthusiasm. "It has been rewarding and challenging."