It’s no secret that geothermal is one of Nevada’s hottest natural resources, one that the University of Nevada, Reno is encouraging scientists to tap into by hosting the second year of the National Geothermal Academy.

The academy is an eight-week intensive course that started in mid-June and will last until Aug. 10. Sixteen out of the 44 students are from other countries such as Japan, Saudi Arabia and Kenya. Students take classes about geothermal geology, energy utilization, geophysics and geochemistry, power plant design, and environmental and business policy, among others. Professors from universities around the country are also in attendance to help teach and advise the students. Participants will travel to various locations throughout the west to study geothermal geology and power production up close, including places like Long Valley Caldera near Mammoth Lakes, Klamath Falls, Ore., and geothermal sites like Rye Patch outside of Lovelock.

Nevada geothermal projects Ram Power, Geothermal Development Associates, Ormat, ElectraTherm, as well as the academy, are finalists in the Geothermal Energy Association’s 2012 GEA Honors. The winners will be announced on August 7.

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