Alex Laudadio is working for the GSC

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Alex Laudadio on the field course to Nova Scotia

Alex Laudadio on the field course to Nova Scotia last year

Senior undergraduate student Alexandra Laudadio was the successful applicant for the Cox Internship in Mineralogy this year. Through this program, she is working in the Mineralogy Department of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) over the summer. 

Alex enjoys her job immensly! Her duties range from general administrative work to preparing samples for XRD analysis and interpreting the results. 

She has learned two different methods of preparing samples for XRD analysis. The first is the pressed powder method, which creates randomly-oriented samples. The second is the smear method, which produces oriented samples of clay minerals. After the sample has been analyzed by XRD, she interprets the results using one of two specialized computer programs. EVA is a program which determines mineral assemblage. TOPAS is a program which determines quantitative content. 

Alex also has the chance to contribute to Open File reports. She researches and proofreads them with the help of ArcGIS. This is earth sciences and geomatics together in action! 

Soon she will be introduced to the lapidary lab, where samples are prepared for other types of laboratory analysis. She will also learn how thin sections are made. Together with her Manager, she is assembling a floor display of how a sample progresses from the field to the lab, and finally to the stage of analysis. 

The Cox Internship is an incredible opportunity for an undergraduate student in the earth sciences. Alex is learning a lot! This internship program, which is exclusive to this department, was open for application in late Winter 2015. 2nd and 3rd year students were eligible to apply.