Career Prep Seminar Series - Past Seminars

Fall 2020 Career Prep Webinar Series

Ann Youberg is a Senior Research Scientist at the Arizona Geological Survey in the University of Arizona. Ann has over 30 years of experience in geological, geotechnical and geomorphic investigations and has been with the Environmental Division of the AZGS for over 20 years. Ann’s work at the AZGS includes surficial geologic, geomorphic and geologic hazards mapping, but her main focus is on post-wildfire hazard assessments and research.

Faulting and earthquakes, subsidence and earth fissures, extreme precipitation and landslides, wildfires and post-fire debris flows. Geomorphologists have so many opportunities to study processes that actively shape the earth, and to conduct applied research that contributes to understanding and mitigating the hazards. In this seminar I’ll discuss my circuitous route to studying post-wildfire debris flows, and provide some tips for developing your own career path.


Doug Silver is currently a portfolio manager at Orion Resource Partners. He has more than 40 years of experience as an active professional in the metal mining industry. He has a variety of experiences, ranging from exploration geologist to Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Observational science is the foundation for strong decision-making skills.  Doug Silver’s career as a field geologist, management consultant, appraiser, investors relations expert, company builder and private-equity portfolio manager reflect the adaptation of his geology training into a series of career moves.  Each step was grounded with an understanding of rocks. This presentation will review how he made these career changes and the role that geology played in advancing his life's adventures.


Leslie Katz is a hydrogeologist with more than 30 years of experience designing, participating in, and managing water resources and environmental projects. After brief stints with the City of Tucson Water Department and the Pima County Wastewater and Solid Waste Division, Leslie joined Montgomery & Associates to pursue a career in water resource consulting, where she is an owner and director. While Leslie has led a range of projects, she specializes in subsurface contaminant assessment and remediation, surface water/groundwater interactions, and groundwater quantity/quality evaluations.  Leslie has an undergraduate degree in Geology and a master’s degree in Hydrology, both from the University of Arizona. She currently serves on the Geosciences Department External Advisory Board. Her focus on the Board has been to support outreach to students interested in pursuing rewarding geology-related careers outside of academia.

An understanding of geologic conditions at a site has always been seen as essential “background” information for a groundwater study. However, as water resources diminish and become increasingly impacted by anthropogenic and naturally-occurring contaminants, there is a growing need to apply geologic principals to groundwater investigations. Solving the water resources challenges of today and the future requires a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge of the geologic conditions, relationships, and potential hazards. Interested geosciences graduates will find that their robust education provides a powerful launching point for a career in water resource consulting. Whether there is a need to remediate industrial contamination, evaluate surface water impacts from groundwater pumping, or site recharge and recovery facilities, geologic insights can be leveraged to improve outcomes. 


Phil Pearthree is currently Director of the Arizona Geological Survey. He grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Oberlin College in 1977. He came west to the University of Arizona for graduate school and has never regretted that decision. He gained incredibly valuable geologic expertise and research experience during a fairly long career as a graduate student in Geosciences, obtaining his M.S. in 1982 and Ph.D. in 1990. His research focused primarily on geomorphology and Quaternary geology, but due to the broad scope of the department was able to dabble in tectonics and geophysics as well. He joined the AZGS as a Research Geologist in 1988. There he developed a vigorous program of research, mapping, and investigations in surficial geology, geologic hazards, environmental geology, and late Cenozoic landscape development and river evolution in Arizona and adjacent areas, assisted by of many excellent UA graduate students and graduates. He assumed the position of Director in 2016, very soon after the AZGS was reunited with the UA without dedicated state funding. He helped reestablish base state funding for the AZGS, guided the integration of the AZGS into the UA, and fostered renewed growth in research funding working with existing staff and strategic hires while continuing to be involved in geologic mapping and research efforts.

State geological surveys provide employment opportunities for earth scientists ranging from the B.S. to Ph.D. level. Activities of individual state surveys vary depending on their size, organizational location in state government / universities, and statutory directives and requirements. A common objective is to provide unbiased scientific information to government agencies and the public that can be used to better understand the geologic framework, geologic hazards, and mineral, energy, and water resources of their state. State surveys cumulatively have ~1850 FTE employees and receive ~$240M total funding, ó of which comes from direct state appropriations and the remainder from federal, other state, and local funding sources. Employment opportunities range from establishing and managing research groups, participating in geologic mapping teams, conducting resource assessments, collecting geologic and hydrologic data, creating and analyzing GIS data, and public outreach. This talk will explore the areas in which state geological surveys conduct applied research and provide geologic information to stakeholders and the general public.


Spring 2020 Career Prep Webinar Series

With 20 years of S&T policy experience in Washington, DC, Dr. Susan Hamm has seen it all (or just about). She has turned a geosciences degree into a successful Federal policy career, complete with tours in several Federal agencies, on Capitol Hill, and in the nonprofit sector. Please come hear her talk about how best to prepare for a career in S&T policy, what it takes to make it in DC, and how to be sure you’ll have an impact.

About Susan: Dr. Susan G. Hamm serves as the Office Director for the Geothermal Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this role, she manages efforts to improve performance, lower costs, and accelerate deployment of geothermal technologies, which can play a significant role in America's clean energy future. Prior to DOE, Dr. Hamm served as the Directorate Operations Officer for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation, spent four years at the Department of Homeland Security in the Science and Technology Directorate, and worked as an advocate for professional science societies and as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Geology from Amherst College as well as a Masters in Geophysics and a PhD in Material Sciences from the University of Minnesota.

Sue' PowerPoint presentation can be found here: 





Fall 2019 Career Prep Seminar Series

Geosciences Advisory Board member Marie Pearthree and recent Geosciences graduate Hector Zamora discuss the introduction of Colorado River water to Tucson. Learn about the epic debacle that ensued and the steps that were undertaken to turn the situation around and provide a sustainable water supply to the community. Marie will also provide students with examples of opportunities that exist for Geosciences graduates in the water resources and water management arena! 

Follow along with Marie and Hector's PowerPoint:



Learn more about Water Resources by visiting the USGS website or reading the 2018 Tucson Water Aquifer Report.


Join Geosciences graduate and Montgomery & Associates hydrogeologist Megan Zivic as she discusses the role of geologic/decision support models for mining, groundwater, and mineral resource applications. Learn about leveraging geology core fundamentals and opportunities at the UA for a successful career providing high-level geologic expertise in the field and the office.


Join Anglo Eurasia LLC President and Geosciences Advisory Board Member Ray Leonard as he discusses one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century: how to deal with a changing climate. Learn about the importance of geology in studying climate change, the factors causing climate change, the phases in which our climate is changing, and how the nations of the world have only begun to address this enveloping crisis.

Follow along with Ray's PowerPoint: