Susan M Hall

Susan Hall is the uranium resource specialist at the US Geological Survey. She leads a project that estimates uranium remaining unmined in the US to help determine if potential supply is adequate to fuel US nuclear reactors. 

Biography

 

Career History and Highlights:

Dr. Hall is an economic geologist at the USGS Central Energy Resources Science Center based in Denver, Colorado. She is the uranium resource specialist for the USGS, leading the uranium resource evaluation project for the US and also working on uranium environmental issues. She began her career with USGS in 2008 after 20 years working in the mining industry. Both in industry and at USGS she strongly advocates applied science – using cutting edge analytic techniques to help answer important questions of ore deposit genesis and mining impacts.

Dr. Hall has revitalized the USGS uranium resources program; planning, securing funding and initiating the first comprehensive, domestic uranium resource assessment since 1980. When she began this project, the efficacy of the USGS mineral resource assessment methodology was in question. She designed a unique proof-of-concept assessment; independently applying and/or evaluating the most widely accepted methods to evaluate uranium in the southern Texas Coastal Plain. She then analyzed the results, and for older methodology was able to test the predictions against production, to select an assessment methodology. Through a network of collaborators, she is now working to expand more traditional resource assessments to include assessments of the impacts of mining these resources in support of smart policy and land use choices.

Dr. Hall’s genetic resource models have been described as “benchmark references” which success she attributes to the practical experience gained through a long career in the mining industry coupled with the ability to seek out expertise and develop research teams comprised of scientists in academia, industry, state and other federal agencies. She is a recognized international expert in uranium mineral systems. Her studies of the underlying controls of these systems has taken her around the world to study deposits in Australia, Canada, Argentina, Ukraine and Namibia. Her analysis of the environmental impacts of in-situ uranium mining, which she developed in collaboration with industry and state regulators, was used as scientific basis for regulations developed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Hall has been invited to speak to U.S. Congress, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, environmental law conferences, and industry forums and has been a keynote speaker and panelist at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conferences. She chairs the IAEA-Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development/Nuclear Energy Agency Uranium Group as the first American to chair this group of international uranium resource experts in 30 years, and the first woman ever to hold this position.

Education:

Dr. Hall has earned 3 degrees in geology/geochemistry; a PhD from the University of Ottawa, Canada, a Master’s from the University of California, Davis and a Bachelor’s from Smith College. Her love of learning regularly draws her back to formal education; she has completed certification courses for secondary education (abandoned to join USGS), survived a year in law school (Lewis and Clark School of Law), and has taught geology and earth science at both brick and mortar (Colorado College) and on-line (Colorado State University) campuses. She is currently an adjunct faculty member of the Colorado School of Mines.