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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

    Geologist from the Oroville Dam offers insight into the field

    Albert Garrido, a Chico State Alumni with a degree in Geology, shared his work experience of projects he’s been involved with for the past couple of years. Garrido spoke on the specific techniques and areas that he worked on after the Oroville Dam crisis.

    Albert Garrido returned to Chico State campus as a speaker for those interested in pursuing a career in geology on Monday night. Photo credit: Nate Rettinger

    Garrido is a engineering geologist for the California Department of Water Resources. The department manages California’s water resources, systems and infrastructure. Garrido’s job specifically to figure out what can be built on varying types of rock.

    “Essentially we are out there dealing with everything rock. So anything that involves the movement of rock, the excavation or drilling of rock.” Garrido said. “We are characterizing everything on the subsurface so that we can have an idea of the structural stability around it.”

    Garrido detailed some of the jobs that he is involved with at the Oroville Dam. He spoke on the bulk of his job, which is going to different sites and checking the consistencies of rocks. Garrido highlighted being able to watch the heavy machinery and being able to map an area with a drone as perks of his job.

    Garrido first began studying engineering a UC Irvine but realized that he didn’t enjoy the work. He transferred to Chico State and studied geology because of the work he got to do outdoors with the added bonus of being able to incorporate some of the skills from his previous major.

    “For me it’s intriguing work, it’s fast pace work,” Garrido said. “You’re dealing with these large gorgeous structures, large swaths of rock and you’re being able to tell the story of what’s going on at the subsurface.”

    Garrido encouraged the students in the forum to continue with their studies. He noted how geology has a larger number of women compared to other STEM fields where the workforce is predominantly men. Garrido estimated about 40 percent of his peers at his job were women. In a survey conducted by the American Geosciences Institute, it confirms Garrido’s estimate that around 40 percent of those who receive a bachelors in geology are women.

    The forum concluded with samples from the different project sites at the Oroville Dam. Photo credit: Nate Rettinger

    Garrido finished the forum by encouraging his peers to be active in job searching. He recommended studying to receive different licenses such as a Professional Geologist License or Certified Engineering Geologist license. Garrido said these different licenses would increase job opportunities for those looking for a career in geology.

    Nate can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @NRettinger19.

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