Montana Bureau of Mines Announces 2021 Uuno Sahinen Silver Medallion Awardee


john-childs-web.jpgThe Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology at Montana Tech has named John F. Childs the 2021 Uuno Sahinen Silver Medallion recipient. The award is named after former Bureau Director, the late Uuno Sahinen, widely recognized for the Bureau’s growth. The annual Uuno Sahinen Award acknowledges “outstanding contributions in understanding and development of energy, mineral, or groundwater resources in Montana.”

John was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1944. He earned a BSc degree in geology from Syracuse University in 1966. He completed his education with a MSc from the University of British Columbia in 1969 and a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1982. Fieldwork as part of university training included mapping in Maine, the Azores, British Columbia, Alaska, and Idaho. While in school, he worked for both the Canadian Geological Survey and the US Geological Survey. He married Mary Ann Kopp in 1968, and they have two grown children, Colleen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Laurie in Arlee, Montana. Both girls grew up packing rocks in the mountains for dad.

John is a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, the Society of Economic Geologists, the Association of Applied Geochemists, the Geological Society of America, and the Geological Association of Canada. He has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at California State University at Los Angeles and Montana State University. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Earth Sciences Department at MSU. John is a Registered Geologist in California, Arizona, and Idaho and is a Founding Registered Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. John has published on a wide variety of topics, including structural geology, talc, gold, porphyry deposits, palladium-platinum, gemstones, Arizona geology, various field trip guides, and working relationships with small miners in Brazil.

Childs has worked for several companies, including Cyprus Mines Corporation, where he worked on one of the first contracts awarded in 1972 by NASA to evaluate applications of the new ERTS (LANDSAT) imagery, Pegasus Gold, and Sibayne-Stillwater. However, most of his career has been spent as an independent consultant through Childs Geoscience Inc. and its predecessor companies. Clients have included Golden Sunlight Mine during the transition of ownership from Placer Dome to Barrick Gold, Aur Resources Inc., Sandfire Resources USA, Barretts Talc, Luzenac Talc, Barton International, Yogo Mining Company, Great Basin Gold, and numerous other companies and prospectors. John was a Vice President of Lupine Minerals Corporation and a principal in the Minerals Discovery Group, the Gold Discovery Group, Lodestone Resources, and the Willow Creek Discovery Group.

John serves as a member and former Chairman of the Montana State Mapping Advisory Committee for the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, and as a past Vice President and current board member for the Tobacco Root Geological Society, where he is proud to have helped establish a scholarship program that has supported graduate students conducting fieldwork in the northern Rocky Mountains for the past 35 years. In 2011 Childs was presented with the Hammer Award by the Tobacco Root Geological Society for contributions to the geology of the Northern Rocky Mountains.

Childs is also honored to have led teams responsible for discovering new resources that society needs, including talc, garnet, limestone, magnesite, gold, molybdenum, copper, base metals, and gemstones.
He takes great satisfaction in having hired, mentored, and helped launch the careers of over 70 young scientists, most of whom graduated from Montana universities. He also looks back fondly on the diverse exploration teams he has assembled and come to love in the US, Guyana, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Turkey, Romania, and other parts of the world. His greatest professional joys have always been fieldwork, the thrill of discovery, and the people he meets along the way.

Retirement has not been a good fit, so John is back in the field doing what he loves: mapping and generating exploration ideas.