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Katelyn Brower, SA-7588 Western Washington University

You know the feeling when some- thing is right; that seemingly effortless discovery where everything falls into place. I know that feeling, because that is exactly what happened to me when I took my first geology class in my second year at community college. From the very beginning of my college education,

I began taking a variety of introductory science classes and I remember thinking that a very logical and possibly challeng- ing decision would be imminent to determine the direction of my future career, but instead it was more like an epiphany, I didn’t need to think about it at all. It was just meant to be. I am going to be a geologist.

As with any major decision, I expected to have times of doubt to challenge my feelings, to ensure I had made the right decision for my future lifelong career; like the two-year stint of requisites I worked through to be able to transfer to the university without the joy of another geology class for inspira- tion, and all the time I spent learning side by side with other students in a sort of solitude, as these students were work- ing toward different careers entirely. Outside of my geology classes, I never met another geology major in any other class I took at the community college.

During this time in my education bits of inspiration kept me on track: an interesting geologic find during a day hike an opportunity to tag along on a field trip with local professional geologists, or rockhounding with a group from my local rock and gem club. My mind may have questioned, but my passion has never wavered. I always knew I would be a scientist, so I

Alison Cramer, SA-8108 University of Nevada, Reno

I believe that every living person on this planet has a right to clean and safe drinking water. I have decided to devote my life to the preservation of our water- systems by evolving the way in which we design our water infrastructure. As the human race continues to deplete and pollute its potable water resources, we

move farther away from achieving a goal of perpetual sustain- ability. I will dedicate my life, with the help of a Bachelor’s Degree in Hydrogeology and a Master’s Degree in Geological Engineering, to advance the way we currently use our most precious and necessary resource. There is enough water on this planet to sustain all life, and it is up to us to determine how we harvest and use this water.

The modern industrial system has created a deficit in the world by way of ruining our fresh water through pollution, and by draining invaluable groundwater aquifers. This kind of unaccountable and destructive behavior actually increases the need for foreign aid to developing countries, instead of promoting self-sufficiency. The “industrial model” is based on exponential growth using energy intensive resources, derived from a finite set of natural resources. We cannot expect to feed and water our growing population using techniques which do not work well with the natural structure of the Earth’s biological systems.

We also live in a society which is built upon the usage of our natural resources for energy and other needs. Obtaining these resources means we have to remove them from the Earth, pro-

never had the expectation that my education would be easy. To the contrary; the subject of geology has always kept my interest and kept me focused on my goal. Knowing exactly what I have been working for throughout my education has made all the difference.

Being active in the geoscience community has always been incredibly important to me, even more so when class requirements took me away from the subject. I have always remained active in student clubs and participate in activi- ties with my local rock and gem club. Likewise, I belong to several geoscience organizations, where I serve and network with professionals and stay current on today’s geology news. I appreciate that many professionals are open to sharing their knowledge with upcoming geoscientists like me and I am thankful for the memorable and lasting relationships I have made.

I stayed the course, working through all of my pre-university requirements for the opportunity to take geology exclusively at the university level. And now, I look forward to yet another milestone in my education, the opportunity to immerse myself in the culminating challenge of my entire education to date and to prove that I can do what I have been training to do for so many years; attend field camp. Field camp will not only represent the completion of my Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, but I also feel it will be a profound opportunity to reflect on all the years of my education. Through my many networking opportunities in professional organizations and meeting true professionals in the field, I have heard a resound- ing consensus that field camp was one of the best and most memorable experiences of their lives. Because of this, I look forward to the rewards of this exciting trip, in what will be the biggest challenge for me thus far.

cess them in a way which allows us to use them, as well as deal with the waste after disposal. Groundwater contamination happens from various sources, such as agricultural chemicals, sewage treatment, municipal and hazardous waste landfills, as well as chemical and petroleum product spills. In order to maintain our way of life, it is up to us to use the technologies of the modern age in order to remove and process the resources we desire, while still considering and protecting the resource we need for basic human survival; water.

Bob Felder, Secretary, NV Section, and Kel Buchanan, President, NV Section, presenting Alison Kramer the AIPG $1,000 student scholarship

Strategies which work with a region’s land and specific climate to extract valuable energy resources, as well as to harvest water, need to be developed in unison. I aspire to cre- ate a model which will enable governments around the world

Jul.Aug.Sep 2018 • TPG 13

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