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Tom Smart, Deseret News
Dianne Nielson, the governor's top energy adviser.

SALT LAKE CITY — Dianne R. Nielson, the governor's top energy adviser for the past three years, announced she plans to retire from state government.

Nielson has worked in state service for 27 years and was the executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality prior to her selection as then Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s top energy adviser. She also headed up the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining and was the senior economic geologist for the Utah Geological Survey.

A release by Gov. Gary Herbert's office said Nielson has been instrumental in projects such as the cleanup of the Atlas uranium mill tailings and the Sharon Steel tailings and helped shepherd the Kennecott groundwater cleanup.

She has a doctorate and master's in geology from Dartmouth College and a bachelor's degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin. She is a licensed professional geologist, a fellow of the Geological Society of America and a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

There was no word from the governor's office as to when her retirement becomes effective and how the search process for her replacement will be conducted.

— Amy Joi O'Donoghue