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Growing Geothermal Industry Offers Choices for Up-and-Coming Professionals

GEA Video Series Features Career Pathways in the Geothermal Energy Industry

Washington, DC (September 27, 2011) — The geothermal industry is hiring, and many people want to know where they can go to start a career in geothermal energy. GEA, the industry trade association, has recently produced an education and training guide, a green jobs report, and is now releasing nine video interviews highlighting the opportunities and career paths in the geothermal industry.

Filmed at the inaugural GEA National Geothermal Summit in August 2011, “Focusing on Jobs in the Geothermal Community” is a series of interviews with geothermal experts who come from a variety of backgrounds — from engineering and geology to communications and history. These videos will especially appeal to anyone interested in a career in geothermal energy or other renewable sectors, and perhaps to individuals who didn’t even know they were interested.

“Geothermal energy is growing today and the industry will continue to expand in the future to meet our clean energy needs,” said GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. “As it does, there is a critical need for new thinking and a new generation of professionals to advance the field.”

“Focusing on Jobs in the Geothermal Community” features the following videos (please feel free to use embed codes):

• Welcome by Leslie Blodgett, GEA.

• Geologist Kim Niggemann — UNLV geology student Beverly Laag interviews Kim Niggemann, currently VP of Resource Operations for Nevada Geothermal Power. Kim talks about a geologists’ perspective, working in geothermal energy vs. working in mining, being a woman in geology, and working hard no matter what you do.

• Renewables Advocate Carl Zichella — GEA's Kathy Kent interviews Carl Zichella, currently Director of Western Transmission for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Carl talks about advocating for policies and procedures that make geothermal and other renewables possible, including getting the Clean Air Act amendment passed in 1990, and about the wide variety of opportunities available to people interested in working in renewable energy and environmental sectors.

• Utilities Leader Stephen Ponder — GEA's Alison Holm interviews Stephen Ponder, Director of Renewable Energy Development at NV Energy. Steve talks about coming to an “unknown” industry after starting in oil and gas, drilling deep wells in Nevada, getting a complete education combined with on-the-job training, and opportunities with small companies.

• Business Developer Halley Dickey — UD’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy student Christopher Richard interviews Halley Dickey, Director of Geothermal Business Development at TAS Energy. Halley talks about being involved in a “tight community where people know each other,” introducing technology to geothermal that was originally developed for commercial air conditioning, and making a difference for the environment and the economy.

• Geologist/Engineer Charlene Wardlow — Reno resident Linda Peri interviews Charlene Wardlow, Director of Business Development for Ormat Technologies. Charlene talks about being interested in geology from a young age, experiences in many different aspects of geothermal development, similarities to oil and gas development, and doing what you love.

• Electrical Engineer Sean Geffert — ThermaSource's Caity Johnson interviews Sean Geffert an Electrical Engineer with Geothermal Development Associates. Sean talks about human/computer interaction software in geothermal and opportunities for travel in his geothermal work.

• Engineer/Educator Bill Harvey — GEA's Leslie Blodgett interviews Bill Harvey, Ph.D, P.E., who works with Power Engineers. Bill talks about coming to geothermal from the nuclear industry, experience with geothermal district heating in Iceland while teaching there, and getting a variety of different experiences to keep your options open.

• Project Developer Stephen Hirsch — UNLV geology student Beverly Laag interviews Stephen Hirsch, Director of New Program Development at Geothermal Development Associates. Steve talks about exciting opportunities in the burgeoning geothermal market of the East African Rift region and about being dedicated to your work.

• Program Manager Betsy Kauffman — GEA's Leslie Blodgett interviews Betsy Kauffman, Senior Program Manager with Energy Trust of Oregon. Betsy talks about a nontraditional approach to joining the renewable power field, being a woman in a male-dominated industry, and non-technical skills that are important to anyone looking to get into the industry.

Additional resources: • 2011 Geothermal Education and Training Guide (August 2011) — • Green Jobs Through Geothermal Energy (October 2010) —

The National Geothermal Summit in Reno, Nev., featured intense discussions related to large-scale exploration, equitable tax treatment, reducing development times, and funding science and education needs, as well as an Exhibit Hall. Government agencies, universities and leading geothermal developers from the growing geothermal industry presented. The next GEA event will be the annual GEA Geothermal Energy Expo 2011, the largest annual geothermal Expo in the world in San Diego, Calif., October 23–26, 2011.

About the Geothermal Energy Association:
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association composed of U.S. companies who support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are developing geothermal resources worldwide for electrical power generation and direct-heat uses. GEA advocates for public policies that will promote the development and utilization of geothermal resources, provides a forum for the industry to discuss issues and problems, encourages research and development to improve geothermal technologies, presents industry views to governmental organizations, provides assistance for the export of geothermal goods and services, compiles statistical data about the geothermal industry, and conducts education and outreach projects. For more information, please visit Follow GEA on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook.

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