Adam Carr has been interested in geology from the time he was a little boy, he just didn’t know it.
"We would go on family trips around the country every summer to national parks and other places of beauty," he says. "I started collecting neat rocks to bring home and wonder about, and I think that is what kicked off my pursuit of geology, the curiosity."
Life and the military interfered with that curiosity for a while until his term of service was looming over his head, he says, and he needed to decide what he was going to do with the rest of my life.
"I was kicking rocks on patrol overseas and it hit me like a freight train," he says. "I began to wonder how these weird rocks got there, what they were, why I was surrounded by huge mountains; a million other questions came to the front of my head in an instant."
He decided there and then to go to college to, he says, "figure out my mystery."
He found some of his answers at least in the Geology Department at Keene State, but they weren't easy answers. "If we had a question, or wanted to know how and why, we were not given any direct answers," he says. "We were gently steered in the right direction and were taught to find our own answers using the given resources and our heads. The connections made using this method will be remembered long after simple memorized knowledge is lost. I use these methods daily to figure out problems small to large."
Carr says he also loved the small class sizes. "The small class sizes were one of the reasons why I decided to attend Keene State for my Geology degree," Carr says. "The level of personal attention and focused teaching would not be attainable with much larger class sizes."
Carr says he was further impressed by the advanced technology he had access to as a student. "I did not appreciate how well equipped our department was until I got out of school and began to associate with people from geology programs from across the country," he says. "We have access to some equipment that is usually reserved for much larger schools and programs; such as the mass spectrometer, XRD and surprisingly the thin section grinder. "
By way of example, he was talking to a fellow wellsite geologist one day about thin-sections and what that geologist accomplished with them. "I was surprised to find out that his program had sent out their samples to an offsite lab for prep before coming back and polishing them on the rotary table, he has only ever made two in his whole time at his program," Carr says. "In contrast, I have made upwards of 20 and processed them in-house due to the availability of the department’s equipment. …I am sure if asked to make a thin-section that I could readily accomplish the task by myself, an independence that my colleague likely lacks due to the lack of experience. "
He also discovered that geology itself is a field intensive study, which suits him just fine.
"Offices stifle me," he says.
Carr is currently a field geologist with Chesapeake Energy/Nomac Geology. He works outside mostly on a natural gas drilling. When he's not in the field, he's in his office analyzing, describing, interpreting and logging the samples that come up out of the wellbore, he says. He says his current position is helping him gain valuable field experience before pursuing his graduate degree.
"Other than the required knowledge of the rocks and description analysis, my time in the Keene State Geology program instilled an extreme attention to detail and a tireless pursuit of answers," he says. "It armed me with the skills necessary to do my job quickly and effectively. The many field experiences prepared me for the fun and rough life of living on a drilling rig and working outside in all weather conditions.
"The work ethic that was polished during my time in the Geology program at Keene State continues to be a valuable asset, I am up for a promotion at the end of this month. The Professors and Adjuncts taught me how to seek the ‘deeper knowledge’, and I continue to do so to this day."