Audra Hanks- Recipient of our 2011 Henderson-Valles Academic Achievement scholarship, Audra is a senior Geology major. She has gained abundant experience in geoscience research and various industry internships. During 2010 and 2011 Audra and Jeff Pepin worked as a research assistants for Dr. Jon Nourse on a USGS funded study of the Sierra Madre frontal fault system.
The photograph at the left shows Audra and Jeff presenting some of their results at the May 2011 Loga,n Utah GSA conference. For her senior thesis document Audra is writing up details of her clast provenance analysis that ties specific gravel horizons to bedrock sources of the San Gabriel Mountains that have been uplifted by the Sierra Madre fault. Part of her thesis involves creation of a geodatabase and corresponding digital geologic map using the ArcGIS program.
Also interested in water resource issues, Audra has lately been supporting her studies through internships with the local groundwater industry. She describes the experience below:
"This summer (2012) I’ll start an internship with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency where I’ll be monitoring groundwater recharge basins. Below is a summary of my past few months of work with the California Water Board":
"The California State Regional Water Quality Control Board is a government agency that regulates the quality of state waters by monitoring surface and groundwater. I interned with two different Sections: The 401 Planning Section is concerned with permitting for altering a streambed or wetland area. Work for them included data entry of permit information and organization of files. The Underground StorageTank Section is concerned regulates sites with groundwater contamination from underground storage tanks, mostly petroleum hydrocarbons contaminating the groundwater from leaky gas stations. With that section, I helped write case closure summaries for sites that had fulfilled remediation, and helped in organization of their database and files. I had the opportunity to go on a few field trips: once we went to the Orange County Water District’s groundwater replenishment system, a facility where wastewater is treated to be potable drinking water for several communities in Orange County. The picture above shows me at the groundwater replenishment system."