Kendle Fraley

Kendle Fraley is an energetic scientist with an overwhelming passion for integrative geology. Kendle came to NIU as an undergraduate student, transferring from Wabaunsee Community College in the fall of 2007. While earning his B.S. degree Kendle completed a senior thesis project using clay-cake, physical models to analyze fault populations in basement uplifts. After satisfying his curiosity about faulting and fracturing, Kendle decided to venture into the world of economic geology and ore deposits. Upon completion of his B.S. degree, he was admitted to the NIU graduate program, where he immediately began to conduct an ambitious experimental study of gold complexing in hydrothermal environments.

During his time at NIU, Kendle has served on the department's student advisory board, and as an officer in the AAPG Student Chapter. He worked on an Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship, and presented his M.S. research at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Kendle's thesis project required him to master a wide variety of analytical and hands-on scientific skills, ranging from soldering platinum capsules, to operating and troubleshooting the department's electron microprobe, to running high pressure and temperature tube furnaces. Kendle's broad background, motivation, and drive helped him get noticed by the Barrick gold mining company, and in the summer of 2011 he worked for them as an intern, where he integrated core logs, geochemical data, structure contour maps and level plans to help constrain the relationship between structures and mineralization at the Turquoise Ridge mine. Kendle's accomplishments were rewarded with a Carla Montogomery scholarship, and culminated in his being named the department's Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year in 2011-2012.

Thesis Research

Gold Solubility in Sulfide Minerals in the High-Temperature Porphyry Environment.

Publications and Abstracts

Fraley K.J. and Frank M.R., 2011, Au Concentration Within Sulfide Minerals in a High Temperature Porphyry Environment: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Frank M.R. and Fraley K.J., 2011, High-Temperature Mineral Alteration in the Albite-Andalusite-Quartz-Brine System: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Fraley K.J. and Frank M.R., Gold Solubilities in Bornite, ISS, and Pyrrhotite at 500-700 °C and 100MPa: Economic Geology, - in review


Kendle successfully defended his M.S. thesis in the spring of 2012 and accepted a job offer from the Barrick gold-mining company. He has been happily working at Barrick’s Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture near Golconda, Nevada since June of 2012.