Ruby B. Johnson

Ruby B. Johnson

Environmental Engineer

Nevada Gold Mines

Elko, NV USA

In order to get your voice out there, you have to be persistent. You can’t let people take your voice away. Get skillful about how you’re putting yourself out there. Push yourself and create opportunities for yourself.


By Roadtrip Nation

Ruby B. Johnson


My road in life has been direct.
I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa and moved to the U.S. when I was 12 years old—I spent most of my school years in Maryland.
A high school teacher recognized my skills in STEM and encouraged me to pursue engineering in college.
I started in civil engineering but quickly realized I didn’t enjoy it much, so I switched to mining engineering, which was great because the program had a much better student–teacher ratio.
While in school, I completed a couple of internships, including a mining engineering internship back in Sierra Leone!
I received my bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from Virginia Tech with a minor in women’s studies leadership.
My first job after college involved working with the federal government as a mining engineer on reclamation projects.
When I got this opportunity to work as an environmental engineer for the Nevada Gold Mines, I took it on—despite my lack of experience in the field!—because I wanted to become more well-rounded.
I also have a self-published magazine, STEMher, which features the education, experience, and skills of girls and women in the STEM disciplines.
Keep following my journey


Environmental Engineer

I am the environmental representative for the open pit operations for the northern Carlin area.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

Every day is different. A day could entail ensuring that a petroleum contaminated spill on ground is cleaned, reported, and in compliance with environmental regulations. It could also include hours of creating quarterly or annual reports for mine areas to be in compliance with state water pollution control permits. Some days are occupied with interacting with operations and maintenance personnel through individual engagements or training at safety meetings to be environmentally-responsible.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Go into every experience ready and eager to learn from others. Ask questions of everyone who works around you—even those who don't work directly in the same field. If you want to be a mining engineer, try to pursue your education and gain the experience you need without going into debt. Try your best to find affordable options to break into the field.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You lack direction and are doing too many things at the same time."

Challenges I Overcame

Changed Major
Self-Esteem Issues
Fitting In

Interviewed By

All In

All In

Innovative careers in Nevada’s historic industries