Budding Scientists from Pagosa’s High School Visit Drilling Operations
Pagosa Verde recently engaged in an educational outreach opportunity with local students through an on-site visit to our current drilling operations. On Wednesday, November 19, 14 students from J.D. Kurz’s Global Science class at the Pagosa Springs High School came out to Drill Site 1 to learn about geothermal exploration.
After a safety briefing, we shared an overview of the project including why we are drilling where we are drilling, the goals and process of geothermal exploration, and the benefits of geothermal resources. We also discussed the importance of NEPA regulations and how they govern operations at the drill sites including protecting the Pagosa Skyrocket and wetlands. They even got to see Pagosa Skyrocket rosettes that are protected by temporary fencing.
The group was broken into two teams. One team went with Mary Jo Coulehan, Pagosa Verde staff member to view the drill rig. While they learned about the drilling and coring process from DOSECC Exploration Services, the other team met with Dr. Roy Mink, Pagosa Verde geologist as he displayed core samples taken from the drilling and explained what the samples might tell us. The team then switched topics.
The students asked pertinent questions including costs involved in a project such as this one, what we hoped to find during the exploration process, will our efforts affect the downtown aquifer and how our efforts will impact the future of geothermal exploration locally and in the State of Colorado. Mr. Kurz’s class was given related documents about the project and they will be following Pagosa Verde’s progress in the upcoming months. Future visits to the sites or class visits by Pagosa Verde geologists are planned so that the students can better understand the ground beneath Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.