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“WHY I WANT TO BE A GEOLOGIST...”


Appalachians into studies of environmental change over hundreds of millions of years of Earth history. I want to be a geologist so that I can keep asking questions. Why do rivers meander? What causes bifurcation in wave ripples? How come the tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is 15 meters, whereas it is just a few centimeters in parts of the Great Bahama Bank?


Since the beginning of high school, I have been captivated by the freedoms and challenges of scientific research and driven


Denay Grund, SA-8975 University of Nebraska Omaha


I began college with an idea that I enjoyed the physical and social sciences. In the early years of my college career, I struggled with the major I would choose. This would provide the basis of the rest of my life’s work and I wanted to make sure I had it right. Whether it was history, ecology, biology or chemistry, I found


myself wondering if I would find a discipline that captured all my interests and allowed for flexibility. Not only this, I searched for a career that would never get boring, and that would provide me with a challenge.


When I took an Introductory Physical Geology course, I realized that whatever I chose to do for the rest of my life had to involve geology. Here was a discipline that involved many processes existing on Earth, but also was not stagnant and continued to evolve. My professors have talked about each of their niches in geology with such passion, and this has driven me to find my lifelong career within this field. With this, an interest in archaeology developed as well and the joint study of both has been a subdiscipline with which I have become enamored. As I took on more courses in my major, my interests extended to a wide variety of subdisciplines, including soils, geomorphology, and potential disaster mitigation. Each course brings me closer to a better understanding of how our Earth works and the processes that shape our everyday lives. These processes are what drive my learning to better understand our world and prepare me to hopefully help our Earth and people’s lives.


I want to be a geologist both because of my love for the world around us and because I want to understand the importance of


Ashley How, SA-9090 Adams State University


Prior to pursuing a geology degree, I spent much of my formative college years pondering whether what I was doing was the right thing. I never exactly felt pres- sured to go to University, but like many


students my age, I was lost in a sea of nameless faces and no direction. I graduated, nonetheless, with a BA in Anthropology and a licensure in Elementary Education. Whilst the teach- ing job took me overseas, the nagging feeling of “not doing what I love” has resonated with me since my graduation. For whatever reason, during this time I have kept reverting back in my mind to a geology class I had taken and loved during my university years! It was certainly one of the best classes I took during my first degree. Unfortunately, at the time that I took it, I felt that I was already too far into my other programs to make a drastic change. After that semester, however, I kept trying to live vicariously through other people by telling


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everything that exists in the system we live in, regardless of whether that thing is living or not. Becoming a geology major has helped me to discover my love for the outdoors and I could not pass up the opportunity to enter a field that would allow me to be outside as often as possible. Rock climbing, hiking, and camping, all are fantastic and all are in the field of geol- ogy. Along with the outdoors comes traveling. This privilege was out of reach as a young child and when I entered college it seemed as if traveling out of my state, let alone the country, was unattainable. As I have participated in field trips and expanded my physical horizons, including traveling overseas this next summer, my dreams have become a reality. My career not only piques my interests, but also allows me the traveling I have always wanted to do. The Earth is too large not to want to attempt to visit as many places as possible. I have yearned to see the world and now geology has given me this ability and the opportunity to understand the nature I see. No place is boring because they all have a geologic history that has shaped the landscape we see.


Geology has become my lens for viewing the world and the people who live on it. Along with my geology major, I have earned a minor in Anthropology. With this I plan to bring an understanding of humans to the discipline, in order to better connect with other people I meet and to hopefully help them see the field’s importance as much as I do. We treat our human social realm as if it were separate from the Earthly one, but we cannot hope to understand ourselves without knowing the world that has shaped life itself. I hope to one day understand a fraction of the processes that occur today and have occurred for millions of years before us. I know when I look back on the choices I have made, choosing geology will be one that I will never regret and always be thankful for.


by a desire to better understand the natural world. My geol- ogy classes and undergraduate research have further focused my sense of purpose and my desire to become a geoscientist. After college, I plan to pursue a PhD and a career in geology so I can use my passion for research to make a positive impact on the world we share.


them that they should take a geology course. Eventually, it dawned on me that I had the means to take a geology course myself – and, better yet, even to get a degree. So, at 32 years old I made the life-changing decision to return to school and pursue a second degree in geology. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that growing up in Colorado (a state known for its boundless geological beauty) also had a part in molding this path for me. This decision has brought enormous clarity to my life overall, as it is allowing me to chase a dream of being a volcanologist. As clichéd as it may sound, I firmly believe that you have to do what you love doing. My grades and my motivation to work hard for this degree are only proof that I have chosen the right career path – or perhaps it has chosen me? I have found a passion in geology that was never present before. I have taken every opportunity to engage in the field, which has not only given me the resources and networking skills I will need in order to complete my main objective, but has also given me the happiness of embracing this science wholeheartedly. I, personally, cannot think of a better reason for why I (or anyone else) should want to be a geologist.


Jul.Aug.Sep 2018 • TPG 15


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