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The EERC welcomes Shane Butler to the EERC team as an Analytical Geologist, where he will work with clients to perform and interpret chemical and mineralogical analyses of rocks, clay, coal, and other materials using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to develop and advance EERC analytical techniques related to unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, shales, and other tight formations.

Prior to his position at the EERC, Shane served for 8 years as a Geologic Specialist with the Illinois State Geological Survey. Shane’s expertise includes identification of mixed-layer clay minerals in soil and rock samples; the coupling of XRD, XRF, and environmental scanning electron microscopy for the characterization of rock, soil, and mineral samples; the characterization of products for use in desulfurization systems for coal-fired power plants; investigations into flue gas desulfurization scrubber materials; travertine deposition and diagenetic alteration; and the use of cathodoluminescent microscopy and plane light microscopy.

Shane earned his M.S. degree in Geology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. degree in Geoscience and a B.A. degree in Anthropology from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

“I started out as an archaeology major,” said Shane. “Then I became more interested in the rock and soil I was digging in and the importance it had in relation to archaeology. Lab science is one of those things where life throws a curveball at you. I had the opportunity to learn about XRD and mineralogy, expanded on my skills, and made a career of it."

“I have only been at the EERC a few weeks, but the first thing I noticed was the atmosphere,” Shane continued. “People are friendly and helpful, and it is exciting to be at a place where science is important. I am excited to develop and advance EERC analytical techniques related to unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, shales, and other tight formations in relation to the study of clay mineralogy.”

Having grown up on a farm near Ulen and Hitterdal, Shane said, “I’ll always say I’m from Minnesota, but I was in the Fargo–Moorhead area for 8 years and lived in Champaign–Urbana, Illinois, for 11, so a lot of places are now home. I hope to make another one here in Grand Forks.”

Shane and his wife appreciate Americana and retro culture and enjoy playing softball together, trying out craft beers and new breweries, going to Disneyworld, and walking their 185-lb St. Bernard named Fezzik and their 12-lb dachshund named Gertrude.

“The little one is in charge,” he said.

Shane’s hobbies include playing softball, basketball, hockey (“very, very poorly”), and video games. A fan of music—especially punk rock music—Shane sings in a band called the Risky Casanovas. “We are getting college radio play in Champaign, Illinois, and just finished our first album,” he said. “Check it out! https://riskycasanovas.bandcamp.com/releases.”