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FHC Graduate Ben Neely to follow his passion for geology in the years to come

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Recent FHC graduate Ben Neely has big plans for his future in earth science. After taking Advanced Geology, offered by science teacher Joey Spadafore, Ben has decided to follow his passion for geology and will study the subject in the years to come.

Without any previous knowledge or real experience in earth science, Ben decided to try out Spadafore’s class, as it was something new and possibly interesting. This is the first year that this course has been available, and it is not a course commonly taught in high schools. Ben quickly found that he greatly enjoyed the science and was very interested in it.

“We got to look at rocks for the first half of the year. While it may [bore some people], I thought that it was super cool,” Ben said. “[We learned] about all of the different types, what made them, how they got there– stuff like that.”

We got to look at rocks for the first half of the year. While it may [bore some people], I thought that it was super cool.”

— Ben Neely

Geology was a science that Ben had not looked into before, and he came into the course having no idea that he would find something that he would become so passionate about. More so than other sciences, geology is to Ben a science that can be seen anywhere and everywhere. He finds enjoyment in his studies and is constantly interested in learning as much about the subject as he can.

“I’m not a biology fan,” Ben said. “I mean it’s cool- all that stuff is awesome- but I wouldn’t spend my free time studying it. We recently wrote a research paper for geology, and I actually had fun with that. That’s the first time that I can think of where we wrote a paper on something I actually wanted to write about.”

Spadafore speaks very highly of Ben and feels that he has a lot of potential in a career involved in the field. Geology is a field where careers are rapidly becoming available. As the need for fossil fuel alternatives rises, geologists are in higher demand than ever before.

“Ben has always shown a genuine interest in the environment and understanding his place in the world,” Spadafore said. “There is never a school day where Ben hasn’t approached me with a question or a news update on something he discovered that leads to a great discussion on a topic we’re learning in class.”

Ben has plans to go into exploration geology, which consists of looking for metal ore deposits, analyzing locations in search of natural resources, and more. He changed his college plans in order to study geology at Michigan Tech; this will prepare him for a career in the field.

Ben has also taken initiative outside of class in preparing himself for the future. He has spoken with a geologist who discovered the world’s biggest nickel mine in order to get an internship at a copper mine in Marquette. He has also started work on a complex mapping program called GIS. GIS stands for Geographic Information System, and this program will give Ben an edge over his classmates in college.

Spadafore feels that Ben’s passion and excitement towards geology will take him far in the science. He has thoroughly enjoyed seeing Ben learn and enjoy a science that he plans to pursue at a higher level.

“Geology is in everything– you can apply it to pretty much anything you want,” Ben said. “I probably wouldn’t have ever realized how much I enjoy [geology] if I hadn’t taken Mr. Spadafore’s class, and I’m really glad that I did.”

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