Elise Uphoff; Undergraduate Student
- Hometown/High School?
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
Senior and expect to be finished December 2012!!!
- What brought you to UWM?
My husband brought our family from New Mexico to Milwaukee to be closer to family. At the time we just focused on finding a school where I could finish my degree, but neither of us knew how perfect of a fit UWM would be!
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
I’m majoring in Civil Engineering but working with Dr. Weon Shik Han in Geosciences. I really loved my Physical Hydrogeology course with Dr. Han, and was excited to be able to put it to use doing research with him. The research is an exceptionally good fit for combining both fields.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
Most generally I’d like to work in preventing or remediating environmental impacts. Something related to water, such as accurate hydrological analysis or watercourse restoration would be amazing. I would tell a prospective student that I am interested in protecting water above and below ground to make a place for nature and people to co-exist better than we have in the past.
- What's been your best experience so far?
The very best experience I’ve had was a part-time position at an environmental consulting company in Albuquerque, NM. The rugged landscape of the desert was a fabulous template for environmental remediation. The hands on nature of the job, and being given my own projects allowed me to really become connected.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
In New Mexico, I evaluated a small water treatment system that discharged into a leech field , where I did a lot of sampling and made system adjustments. There were also several Environmental Site Assessments, and soil borings that had thick layers of benzene contaminated soil.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
I’m currently working with Dr. Han and researching sequestration and use of CO2 in geothermal systems.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
Being connected to many experiences in the field, and a good understanding of groundwater made my transition into the department easier. Also, I can be a very diligent and organized student, which makes studying so much easier.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
The department has an amazing family-like atmosphere with very intelligent professors that will help you succeed if you want to as well.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
As with any major, a secondary emphasis or interest can help define your primary major. Try classes from other departments while you can to explore complementary options like biology-geology, chemistry-geology, engineering-geology. Working hard in math courses is something I’ve valued very much.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
When we moved, we never really considered Milwaukee as a beach city! We love Milwaukee County Parks, and make use of them daily.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
I hope to start working in January or February (’13) at a company that will account for time in getting my Professional Engineer’s license. I enjoy smaller companies, but am most interested in being in the field part-time, and a great working atmosphere. I plan to get my masters in a natural sciences field after our family has settled a bit more.