Donya Otarod is a dedicated and accomplished researcher in the field of mining engineering and geoscience with a passion for understanding mineral resources and their global implications. She currently serves as a Student Trainee and physical Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Minerals Information Center, specifically within the Minerals Intelligence Research Section. In this role, she has undertaken a wide range of responsibilities, including collecting, organizing, and interpreting mineral commodities data. She has been involved in analyzing and validating mines and facilities data on a global scale, her contributions extend to conducting research for her Ph.D. thesis program, exploring life cycle land use impacts of critical minerals production. She has experience in the exploration of PCDs and gained field experience in mineral alteration and porphyry deposits. She has teaching experience as an instructor for ArcGIS at the University of Modarres, Iran, and also worked in the National Museum of Natural History collecting rock samples.

She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering working on environmental issues and LCA local land use impact of critical minerals mining and processing, with a minor in Geoscience at the University of Missouri Science and Technology. She earned her master’s degree in Economic Geology from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. Her master’s thesis focused on the mineralogical and chemical characteristics of propylitic alteration associated with copper porphyry deposits. She has contributed significantly to her field through research and publications. Her master’s thesis and research have been presented at symposiums and conferences, including the 17th symposium of the Iranian Society of Economic Geology and the first international congress of Zagros Orogen. She has contributed to the compilation of geospatial data for the mineral industries and related infrastructure of Africa, a U.S. Geological Survey data release. Additionally, she has contributed to the national workshop on the resilient supply of critical minerals.