Dispatches from the Field: Richard Dudek

Richard Dudek (M.A. 2015)

Richard Dudek graduated with an M.A. in earth sciences in December of 2015. Prior to graduation, Richard accepted a job with the Alaska Forest Service in Juneau as a Geologist/Minerals Administrator. During his interview, he was asked whether he was comfortable flying to work and possibly carrying a rifle to protect himself from bears while on the job. As a veteran, Dudek was uniquely qualified in this regard.

Of his current job, Richard says the following:

"As a Geologist/Minerals Administrator, I conduct geologic studies and investigations on a variety of projects where geology and mineral activities have an effect on development and/or management of forest resources. Such studies and investigations require considerable planning for proper execution. I also conduct validity examinations to determine and make recommendations about the lack of a mineral discovery or to reaffirm that a mineral discovery has been made. A typical day here is working on National Environmental Policy Act projects related to geological projects for economic activities within the Tongass National Forest. By far, the most unique aspect of this job is traveling to and from the work sites by either sea plane, boat or helicopter. My biggest accomplishment so far is being the lead geologist for a NEPA project. Why? I am able to use the skills I gained from WMU and apply them to this project. My future plans are to continue working with the Forest Service; in five years, I hope I can be a geology supervisor in southeast Alaska."