Michelle L. Montague is a geologist and educator celebrating nearly two decades of promoting stable and sustainable copper extraction and promoting earth sciences to the next generation of students. A curious and committed student with a passion for the outdoors, Ms. Montague’s interest in teaching started in childhood. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in earth science education and completed a Master of Arts in geosciences education in 2001.
Ms. Montague began her career the following year as a science teacher at Globe High School, where she developed a reputation for outstanding classroom skills, earning the Gila County Excellence in Education award in 2007. In 2006, Ms. Montague joined the faculty of Glendale Community College as an adjunct professor of geology in addition to her work at the high school level. While she continues to teach at Glendale Community College, Ms. Montague left Globe High School in 2008 to join Freeport-McMoRan after hearing that a position had opened at a local mine.
Since 2008, Ms. Montague has been a senior geologist for Freeport-McMoRan working on sites in Florida and Arizona. As a geologist, she specializes in slope stability and factors relating to the extraction of copper from active mine sites. Attributing her success to her work ethic and determination to succeed, She hopes to be promoted to chief geologist within five years and use her work to inspire others to learn about mining and geology or cultivate a better appreciation for the natural world.
Ms. Montague has been profiled in a local magazine feature on women in the mining industry and emphasizes that women should not hesitate to enter male-dominated professions, as it is crucial to be able to pursue your passions, regardless of challenges that may initially present themselves. She is a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, the Arizona Geological Society, the National Science Teachers Association, and Delta Kappa Gamma. In her personal time, she is active in her area Mormon community, and has volunteered as a teacher for the Globe, Arizona, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since 2002.