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to collect and treat water in a tenable way, whilst continuing to build their energy reserves. With the help of fellow innova- tors and scientists around the globe, I hope to create water systems which will be used and maintained for all of the future generations of this world.

Water is a priceless resource, the most treasurable element, the most valuable compound, and the most precious ally to all life that exists upon this planet. Water is the essence of all living systems, and in this Universe, it is water that is the vital nutrient which connects us all and brings forth life. The metamorphosis we need to undergo in order to rearrange

Robert Collar, SA-7998 Stanford University

I was fortunate to have fallen for the earth sciences long before I had to choose whether or not I’d like to be a geologist. Minerals dotted the bookshelves of my bedroom as I was growing up; frankly, I was enraptured by their organic beauty and the lore that pervaded their space: the who and the where. Some kids fell

for G.I. Joe wielding an automatic rifle while hanging out of the side of a helicopter; I fell for the rugged mineral collector armed with a hammer, figure silhouetted in the entrance of an abandoned adit.

My own mineral collecting brought me in touch with beauti- ful minerals and beautiful places, but in retrospect there was a certain flatness to these experiences. I distinctly remember one instance in which I hunted for garnets with my uncle, a hydrogeologist by training. While I focused on scavenging for individual garnet crystals, he had paused to look at a contact further down the outcrop and concluded that the garnets had formed as part of a skarn. I had no idea what a skarn was; at the time, I honestly didn’t care.

Four years have passed since then, and I now have a strong sense of what I had been missing out on: the attention to story- telling cultivated by a degree in geology. My uncle had noticed a subtle but significant clue in his contact. Using his geologic toolkit – grounded in primary observation, first order prin- ciples, and the ability to contextualize – he pried into another dimension of understanding that I had completely missed. He had seen process, heat, time, flow, and mass transfer where I had only seen attractive collectibles in the flashes of garnet I scooped out of the dirt and knocked off of the outcrop. Now,

Emily Geyman, SA-9077 Princeton University

I discovered my love for research at the beginning of high school. In ninth grade, I read a National Geographic article about a water purification sys- tem piloted in Nairobi’s Kibera slum that used the sun’s ultraviolet rays to kill pathogens. Intrigued by the meth- od’s simplicity, I built my own prototype

and tried to improve its efficacy. The project dominated my living room and most of my free time. The following year, after reading about dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, I designed an experiment to study the dynamics of algal growth under varying concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. When I worked on my independent science projects in high school, I felt

14 TPG • Jul.Aug.Sep 2018

a centuries old system, requires the necessary scientifically backed data and engineering ingenuity, which I am ready and willing to work for.

We do not live in a petroleum-based economy; we live in a water-based economy. Fossil fuels can be replaced, and as a species, we can learn to live with or without the comforts an energy intensive world provides. We cannot learn to live with- out water, and every day we are polluting the one resource we need for survival. My ambition to design viable water systems will support my mission to provide fresh and clean water for human consumption around the world.

this sort of experience is not uncommon in many fields of sci- ence; what is striking about geology is the pervasiveness with which these experiences can occur.

Stanford’s Florence Moore Dining hall is known to many for its ice cream and Sunday night Indian food; to a select few with an eye for anything born of the earth, “FloMo” is famous for its countertops. To the layman, these countertops certainly have their utility; they are the pedestals upon which ice cream and Indian food are served. But to the select few, “FloMo’s” countertops are a window into the formation of pegmatites. Large books of muscovite and scarlet garnets pepper their surfaces, and intergrowths of quartz and feldspar are scrawled out in some ancient language. To us geologists-in-training, the countertops represent the culmination of a medley of igneous processes. Just like my uncle, I now see time and process where superficially there’s only a surface whose flatness is engineered perfectly for the serving of hot food.

Geologists experience the world in a fundamentally differ- ent way than almost everyone else. A geologist’s toolbox acts as a form of augmented reality. Zoned plagioclase crystals jump out from movie theater bathroom tiling, and what was once an ignored, isolated boulder in a field becomes evidence for extensive glaciation.

I want to be a geologist because I want to access all of the stories accessible through a deftly placed hammer blow and the trained geologist’s mind. And I want to be a geologist so that I can share these stories. While I personally find the geosci- ences exciting, growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley has demonstrated to me the extent to which many others have lost touch with the earth. Many forget where the materials that make up their iPhones and Teslas come from, or the source of the energy that powers these devices. Studying geology has given me a new lens through which to appreciate the world and a drive to instill this appreciation in others.

empowered by the freedom to ask my own questions, perform my own experiments, and interpret the results. While my high school experiments seem unsophisticated in retrospect, they ignited in me a passion for research that I can’t imagine will be extinguished.

Since taking my first geology class in college, I’ve discov- ered a love of Earth science. I’ve started to devour non-fiction books about the Earth system: Rare Earth, The Control of Nature, How to Build a Habitable Planet, The Rocks Don’t Lie, Wonderful Life, etc. Reading these books before bed is the part of my day I look forward to the most, and it renews both my sense of wonder and the draw of the unknown.

Being a geologist means that the whole world becomes your natural laboratory. For me, geology has turned a window seat on an airplane into a case study of knickpoint migra- tion and river avulsion. It has transformed day-hikes in the

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