WYOMING – The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) welcomed three new staff members at the start of 2018.
Before arriving at the WSGS, geologist Charles “Chuck” Samra spent a decade exploring for gold and copper deposits in Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, and Montana while employed by Kennecott Exploration and small independent junior companies. He also worked a couple of years in the oil and gas industry, based in Denver, Colorado, focusing on evaluating and interpreting major unconventional basin plays.
His interest in geology started with a desire for being outside. “I like exploring and learning about the formation of my natural surroundings and learning as much as I can about the earth system,” he says.
When he isn’t working, Samra is still outside skiing, rafting, and exploring with his dogs. He is looking forward to exploring Wyoming and becoming familiar with its geology, as well as being a part of the WSGS’ future.
“I hope to expand on the contributions of world-class geologists who have worked for the agency,” Samra adds. He is already assisting with WSGS’ StateMap projects and a Greater Green River Basin salinity study.
Samra earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Western State Colorado University and a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, where he studied Miocene deformation related to the Las Vegas shear zone and the evolution of the Central Basin and Range geologic province.
Kelsey Kehoe is the Survey’s new coal geologist. Before coming on board, she was a geologist at WellDog in Laramie, Wyoming, where she worked to develop spectroscopic methods for characterizing organic matter in sedimentary rocks. She also previously worked as a contractor at the Illinois State Geological Survey where she evaluated reservoir quality.
Kehoe holds two geology degrees—a bachelor’s from San Francisco State University and a master’s from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She fell in love with geology after realizing it was the driving force behind landscapes she experiences every day.
“Being able to understand what influences the natural world around us fascinates me,” she says.
Kehoe has begun assisting with the new online mines and minerals map and is looking forward to developing coal-related projects in the Greater Green River Basin.
Dr. Jesse Pisel is a new oil and gas geologist in the Survey’s Energy and Minerals Resources Division. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Western State Colorado University and a Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines, both in geology.
He spent last summer as a rig site geologist for Midas Gold Idaho in Stibnite, Idaho. Before that, he was a research assistant at the Chevron Center of Research Excellence at the Colorado School of Mines for three years. Additionally, he completed internships with oil and gas companies WPX Energy in Denver, Chevron in Houston, Texas, and BP Alaska in Anchorage.
Pisel was drawn to a career in geology because of the opportunity to solve complex problems using science and getting to spend plenty of time outside collecting data.
“I am excited to work with people who are so enthusiastic about geology and that my job will directly benefit the people of the state of Wyoming,” he says about joining the WSGS. The first project he is involved in is updating the online interactive oil and gas map.
His hobbies include mountain biking, data analysis, and spending time with his girlfriend and two dogs.