Bronco Spotlight: Beau Haag
Geotechnician - Sampler at Rangefront Geological
I am currently a contract geotechnician at Hecla Fire Creek. Fire Creek is a low sulfidation epithermal gold mine, currently operated by Hecla Nevada. While my job position is technically a sampling geotechnician, my role and responsibilities resemble more of those of an ore control geologist. My primary duties include: taking, preparing, and dispatching face and rib samples for geochemical analysis; geological mapping of lithologies and structures in the underground headings; and inputting, updating, and managing data in the mine's geological database. While it isn't explicitly my role, I also aid the staff and senior geologists in making decisions on which direction to advance current headings. There are many things that I love about my job. I get to work with amazing and talented people, see awesome geology every day, and use my geological knowledge and skillset to do something important and meaningful. I am truly grateful for being able to do what I love and aid others in the process.
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
I've always been interested in geology, but didn't decide to pursue it as a career until after I took an intro level geology course at Northampton Area Community College. After community college I enrolled at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania as a geology major and spent two of the best years of my life learning about the different fields of geology. I made the decision to pursue a career in the minerals industry after conducting undergraduate research with my undergrad advisor, Dr. Kurt Friehauf. Kurt played an important role in that decision by teaching me I could turn my passion for science and rocks into fun and fulfilling career.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
My best advice: Learn as much as you can, pursue extracurricular opportunities, make connections, and never give up. You never know exactly what you will be doing/what kinds of geologic environments you will be working in. Therefore, it really pays to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of geology, as they will be applicable in almost every scenario. In addition to typical coursework, taking the time to do other things outside the classroom to develop your knowledge and skillset will be a huge help. Never pass up the opportunity to go out, do things, and meet people/network. Lastly, never give up. Getting your foot in the door is the most grueling, frustrating aspect of the minerals industry. If you can get an internship while you're still in school, do it. If you don't, it's not the end-all, be-all. People will tell you that you won't get there, and that there are no jobs in the industry. On top of it all, you will receive a lot of rejection letters. But, it only takes one person to put in a good word for you, or to take a chance on you, for you to make it. Work hard, follow your passion, meet the right people, and you will succeed.