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Erik Van Dusen "Deuce Van D"

Erik Van Dusen is a charismatic scientist who enjoys integrating multiple disciplines to understand big picture geological processes. Erik joined the NIU graduate department in 2011 after earning his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. While at the University of Illinois, he worked part time for both the Illinois State Geological Survey, where he stitched together historical aerial photographs of Illinois and in the university's hydrosystems lab, where he assisted with studies on bedform morphologies.

While at NIU, Erik was able to teach as well as learn from experienced geologists. During his two years as a graduate student, Erik taught multiple geology courses, which include Introductory Geology, Structural Geology and NIU's six week field camp course in Wyoming and South Dakota. It was while teaching these courses he was able to show his passion for geology to new students. Erik's research allowed him to not only learn a handful of new analytical lab and numerical modeling techniques, but also allowed him to interact with world-class scientists from around the world.

Thesis Research

Erik's M.S. research combined hydrology, structural geology and geochemistry, which provided him with several opportunities to utilize his geological understanding in industry settings. In the summer of 2013, Erik started an internship with the mining company, Imerys, where he used his knowledge of structural geology to map and predict the behavior of fracture networks for future mine development. In the fall of 2013, while presenting his research at the American Association for Petroleum Geologists' student career expo in Houston, Texas, he was offered another internship with Murphy Exploration and Production Company where he was tasked with determining the causes and sources of oil field problems involving Hydrogen sulfide. The broad geological knowledge that Erik acquired while at NIU allowed him to excel in each of these different industries. After completing his M.S. degree in 2014, Erik began his career in the oil and gas industry with Murphy Exploration and Production Company where he is currently working as a petroleum geologist.