I have always enjoyed the outdoors. I started out as an enthusiastic boy scout who learned about rocks and basic geology from field-guide books. In my late teens, I was a backpack guide in the central Sierra Nevada of California. I took a geology course during my senior year of high school, which opened my eyes to the possibility of being a professional geologist. I pursued this interest by enrolling in geology at Stanford, where I learned from professors and other students the importance of making and recording critical observations in the field. One of the benefits of taking geology at Stanford was the field course that was held in the Shell Creek and Snake Ranges of eastern Nevada during the summer of 1983 – both of which are tremendous places to learn to make a geological map!
During my undergraduate years, I worked with the United States Geological Survey on regional mapping and laboratory based projects in the western USA. This work and the supervision of senior USGS staff provided me with a firm basis in systematic mapping, data collection and analysis. In the mountains of Alaska, I learned how to hop in and out of a helicopter at a moment's notice, replete with back pack, hammer, ice axe and sometimes a 12-gauge shot-gun. I furthered my academic studies and obtained a M.Sc. in geology from the University of British Columbia in 1987, where I focused on the structural geology of the Omineca Crystalline belt in the Cariboo Mountains near Quesnel Lake, British Columbia.
Following the formal part of my education, I set off for a geological expedition in the Himalayas of Nepal, after which I began my career as an economic geologist. This I achieved by knocking on office doors in Bangkok and Jakarta, until I obtained a job with a junior Australian mining group in 1988. My first port of call was eastern Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), where I and an Indonesian geo with the help of several Dyaks explored the jungle by boat and foot via the network of streams that form the arteries of the island. I joined Newmont in 1992, where as regional geologist for South East Asia, I worked on porphyry, epithermal and Carlin like systems in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, China and other countries. Newmont sponsored my Ph.D. on the Batu Hijau porphyry copper-gold district in Sumbawa, eastern Indonesia, which I completed in 2000 while at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
After handing in my thesis, I returned to work in Nevada, where I was chief geologist for Newmont from late 2000 through 2002. I became reacquainted with Nevada geology and assisted with exploration along the Carlin-trend, near Fortitude / Phoenix, Midas and elsewhere. I interacted with government personnel and university staff and students through company sponsored research and employment programs. In 2003, I joined Geoinformatics Exploration, a Perth-based company that specialized in the processing and interpretation of historical data to generate targets which the group explored in North America and Australia. I finally learned how to use computer software properly!
I still live in Perth, where I started a structural geology consultancy in 2007, assisting companies with projects in Australasia and the Americas. I am active in the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) as co-founder of the SEG mentoring program and as a lecturer on gold deposits as part of international workshops that the society sponsors. I am an adjunct research fellow at the Centre for Explora-tion Targeting at the University of Western Australia, where I collaborate with staff and mentor graduate students. Perth remains home – for me, Claire and our seven-month old baby Oscar.
John Winton Erwin*
Erin L. Hart
Greg T. Hill
Joseph Kizis, Jr
Brooke J Miller
Justin and Ajeet Milliard
Mia (Cowgill) O'Neal
Shea Clark Smith
Roger C Steininger