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Andrew Genco ’06 (Murray Hill, N.J.) will speak about his summer internship experience mining talc for Barretts Minerals, Inc. in Dillon, Mont., noon today in Van Wickle Hall room 108. The talk was rescheduled due to technical difficulties.

Lunch will be provided free for students and at a cost of $3 for faculty and staff.

At a subsidiary of Bethlehem-based Specialty Minerals Inc., Genco, a geology and environmental geosciences major, worked directly under a mining engineer and was responsible for analyzing talc samples, logging core talc samples, and searching for new talc sources in the Madison Mountain Range, Mont.

Best known as the main ingredient in talcum powder, talc is an important industrial mineral. Its resistance to heat, electricity, and acids makes it an ideal surface for lab counter tops and electrical switchboards. It is also an important filler material for paints, rubber, and insecticides.

“The most challenging part of the job was searching for a new source of talc,” says Genco, who handled explosives in his work. “While it allowed me to go and hike around in the woods looking for talc, it was similar to searching for a needle in a haystack. Due to the fact that finding talc in the woods is a very difficult job, I could spend a whole day looking and not find anything, which was disappointing at times.”

Genco credits his positive experience to what he learned in his mineralogy and petrology classes. He says that mineralogy enabled him to know the defining characteristics of the mineral and petrology taught him the types of environments in which talc is likely to form.

“The aspect of the job that I found most interesting was working with the drillers and learning how to log and analyze the core that was gathered,” he adds. “This is something that anyone studying geology should be exposed to, and I got a first-hand tutorial from a geologic engineer about how to do the process.”

After his experience interning, Genco believes that the strength of the geology and environmental geosciences department lies in “the knowledge of the professors who teach the courses and their own abilities to convey the information to students.”

Genco is a member of and Inter-Fraternity Council representative for Delta Upsilon fraternity. He is treasurer of both the men’s rugby club and geology club and has been a geology and environmental geosciences peer tutor and teaching assistant.

Categorized in: Academic News