Mike Bjorklund (BS Geology, 2005)
Bureau of Reclamation Geologist in Grand Coulee, Washington
I am the geologist for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at the Grand Coulee Dam. This was a "dream job" for me because I was born and raised in Grand Coulee and one of my goals was to return there and work in my profession. So when the former geologist here decided to retire I was quick to apply! I have been here now for a year and am really enjoying my job. The Grand Coulee Power Office manages the Grand Coulee Dam and North Dam near Grand Coulee, WA and Hungry Horse Dam near Kalispell, MT. I am involved with various monitoring programs of the structures and also get involved with the geologic aspect of dam safety. It seems like there is something new everyday! So far it has been great and although the traveling was fun, it's nice to be at home almost every night and not in a motel!
I started with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as a student intern while I was attending CWU. The internship then turned into a permanent position after I graduated from school. So upon completion at CWU, I packed up and moved to Billings, Montana. I worked there for about two years. While there, my office was responsible for the execution of geologic investigations at Reclamation dams and other facilities throughout the Great Plains Region, which covered a nine state area from Mexico to Canada. Needless to say it was a ton of traveling, but I was exposed to lots of great geology and was able to gain a lot of valuable experience.
I currently live in Electric City, WA with my wife Julie, our 4-year old son Dakota, and our six-week old daughter Aidan. In the summers, we enjoy spending as much time as possible on our boat and we also enjoy the occasional camping trip with friends and family.
As far as any reflections on my CWU Geology experience I would say that it was an excellent place to study. The faculty is an exceptional group of people that truly want each student to succeed, made evident by their willingness to help out on all levels. I can recall many late night cram sessions in the Undergrad Room where one or more of the faculty was around to answer any questions that may have come up. The field courses are also a very memorable and invaluable experience I gained at CWU. The relationships it built between students as well as between students and instructors made the remainder of my studies a much more enjoyable experience. It's was always nice to walk into a class on the first day and see a few familiar faces and have a built-in network of peers that share the same interests.
Ok, and of course I'll readily admit that the Geo Club TAV Night's were always one of my most anticipated events of the quarter!! Sometimes you just have to relax and have a little fun! All in all, I'd say that CWU's Geology program played an integral role in providing me with the knowledge and ability to become successful in the geology profession.
UPDATE: Since my last submittal to the Alumni page quite a lot has changed at the Bjorklund house. In April '09, we broke ground on our new home which we are building ourselves. It has been a ton of work, but will be well worth it when it's completed (hopefully by April '10). Then in August we welcomed the littlest Bjorklund into the world, Mia Rose. Needless to say it has been a busy few months!Information last updated on Dec 6, 2009