Arizona Geological Society

J. Harold Courtright Scholarship

Harold Courtright had a life-long interest and career in mining and geology in the Cordillera of North and South America. His field mapping skills and exploration expertise led to the discovery of now well known porphyry copper deposits in Arizona and Peru. The scholarship fund, set up after his death in 1986, is designed to promote graduate research in the Cordillera and, while the Society may support exciting studies in any geologic discipline, we do place special emphasis on field geology, economic geology, and the study of ore deposits.


For more details about this scholarship visit our Student Outreach Page.


Michael A. Kessela

2017 Courtright Scholarship Recipient


Michael Kassela received a B. S. in Geology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) during the spring of 2017, where he graduated with a GPA of >3.9.  While an undergraduate, he worked as an assistant to Jean Cline from 2014 to 2017 and completed a five week field camp operated by Idaho State University during the summer of 2016.  

Michael is a first-year M.S. student at the University of Arizona, whose research advisor is Eric Seedorff.  He has recently completed a 10-day Ore Deposit Mapping short course offered by the Lowell Program in Economic Geology, where participants are taught and practiced the Anaconda-style geologic mapping method and visited various mineral deposits in the Great Basin.

Michael's Master's research involves the geological mapping of the poorly studied Reese River mining district near Austin, Nevada, where approximately 20 million ounces of silver were mined from 96 Ma (K-Ar) veins cutting the Jurassic Austin pluton (159 Ma U-Pb).   This research project will include detailed mapping of the various igneous phases of the Austin pluton, including the area of economically significant silver mineralization as well as the adjacent wall rocks.   Data from petrographic studies, whole-rock geochemistry, electron probe analyses  and U-Pb dating of the various intrusive phases will be incorporated into this mapping effort with a goal of structurally reconstructing of the original geometry of the Austin pluton and the mineralizing hydrothermal system.  This research will help geologists understand the nature of the relationship between the silver-bearing veins and the Austin pluton.


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