Stories from GeoIntern

This story was first published on the UiT website, written by Ola Jensvoll and translated to English by Anne Stensland

Ola Jensvoll, Bachelor student at UiT, is among the students taking the course GeoIntern this spring and here is him sharing some of his experiences from being an intern at Skaland Graphite on Senja.

Vårlig solskinn med spektakulær utsikt mot Senjafjellene.
Spring weather with a spectacular view towards the mountains on Senja. photo: OLA JENSVOLL
My name is Ola Jensvoll, I am a bachelor student in Geology at UiT, and this semester I have spent three weeks interning with the great group of people at Skaland Graphite. I have been encouraged from the University to write a few words about my experiences and how I felt working as a real-life geologist in a mine. 
The last weeks I have been working with the drilling technicians. Taking cores, which are logged and analyzed, is a useful tool in mapping the underground and defining the areas of economic interest. Geologists do the logging, but my impression from the university is that we often lack information about the direct setting from where the core was taken.
You can really hear it when the drilling rig in the mine is drilling a 150 m core. The rig is water cooled, run on a computer and can be operated by 2 men. They use an app to control the orientation of the core. There is a lot of factors in play when you plan the drilling. It is strongly dependent on the structures in the mountain, but also you need to keep in mind that the drill-bit rotates clockwise and that causes the rig to drift upwards and towards the right. A deviation of 3 degrees may not sound like a lot, but when you want to drill more than 150 m then 3 degrees might mean the difference of hitting a target and missing it completely. 

The cores are pulled out of the rig in 2,5 m sections. They are broken into smaller pieces and put in boxes. Breaks and orientation are marked carefully by the drilling technicians. If you are lucky you get the whole core in one piece. The rest of the work is left to the geologists. We started the week with an empty barrack and now we have installed electricity, water, drainage and we have breath life into our core saw that we will use to split the core. The saw is state of the art, has internet connection, runs on Windows 10 and can pretty much do everything except doing the dishes.

Access to work life experience while attending university is priceless. If I reflect on how much I have learned over these past weeks, I think I would chose working 3 weeks every semester over some ordinary courses. I therefore think that it is great that I have had the opportunity to gain some work life experience in addition to the seminars and lectures on the geoscience sector, organisational theory, innovation and more throughout this course.

More of this please!