Meet the Researcher: Sara Post

Jul 5, 2022

After graduating from the Colorado School of Mines, Sara Post brings environmental consulting expertise to varied projects at NRRI

Breaking up is hard to do – at least for Sara Post and NRRI.

After graduating from the Colorado School of Mines in 2010 and a short stint in environmental consulting, Post left her hometown of Boulder and joined the NRRI team as a temporary employee working on mapping Minnesota’s rare earth elements. Then it was back to environmental consulting on mine sites, then back to NRRI to work on taconite byproduct reuse, then back to consulting on petroleum monitoring, and then back to NRRI.

This time to stay and with unique skillsets that enhance the Minerals and Metallurgy team.

Post’s Bachelor of Science degree brings together expertise in geology and engineering. Her consulting work has developed her understanding of how to manage the impacts of industry on the environment.

“I'm most interested in that time and space between the end of a project – like a mine – and returning it back to a more natural state, and understanding what work needs to be done to get from one to the other,” she said.

While at NRRI, Post has been involved in everything from developing value-added products from mine tailings waste to lake sediment chemistry and characterization to geologic resource mapping. Now she’s turning her attention to another project that collaborates with a team of Geographical Information System and database experts. Together, they’re sorting through reams of geological data to be compiled on an easy-to-access, web-based tool.

“Our hope is that we – along with other professionals and non-professionals – will use it to really understand what and where the gaps are in our knowledge of Minnesota’s mineral resources,” Post explained.

Central Support

While it’s an important role, making time to serve on a search committee can be overwhelming for researchers with a busy schedule. NRRI’s Human Resources Administrative Assistant Jane Dzuck works hard to smooth the path, as Post discovered during a new hire search.

“Jane was absolutely indispensable during that entire process,” Post said. “She was so helpful and knowledgeable – I wouldn't have been able to do it without her help.”

Get Out

One might think someone who enters the field of geology does so because it gets them outdoors to study rocks. It fits for this geologist.

“I have two little boys, and our favorite thing to do is to spend time outside! Preferably near the water,” said Post. “We just got back from a two-night trip to the Boundary Waters, and they loved (almost!) everything about it.”

(We’re guessing mosquitos might be the “almost” disclaimer?)