Brynne Storved; Undergraduate Student
Greetings! I am Brynne, a Geophysics student at UW - Milwaukee focusing in hydrogeology. My interest in the natural world stemmed from an early age. My family moved to a new city nearly annually, almost seven school districts in six years. Always camping, hiking, or adventuring, my parents could not answer all the questions a child asks, such as, “Does the moon grab the tide? Where does it go? Why is salt water colder than freshwater? Where did salt come from? Freshwater isn’t fresh; it looks mucky.” These are the questions I asked, 8 years old, as I explored the parking-lot wide sandy spit dividing salt water and a freshwater wildlife refuge in Sequim, Washington. After settling in a suburb of Milwaukee, my 14 year old memory is, “Why are the rocks on Lake Michigan round?”
As part of my undergraduate career, I dabbled in a variety of disciplines. I began my college days as a history major and then was fully converted to the geology major after completing GEOSCI 100 and discovering my love/hate relationship with calculus. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with Professor Dyanna Czeck as an x-ray fluorescence research assistant. Fieldwork in Iceland, geophysics, and hydrology courses: all of these experiences have created new geology-related questions. Now, I wonder, “Can geophysics be used to determine the geometry of water flow in fault systems?” and “What are the electrical properties of rapidly changing stratigraphic facies?”
I have been awarded the Departmental Field Camp Scholarship and the Study Abroad Scholarship in 2010. Besides geology and water science, I also enjoy landscape and garden design, running, and coffee.
- Hometown/High School?
I was born in Fargo, ND and graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in Wisconsin.
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
I recently graduated in August 2010 and currently applying for graduate school.
- What brought you to UWM?
I completed my general class requirements at UW – Washington County; UWM was close to home and transferred in 2008.
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
When I transferred to UWM, I had no inclination towards the study of geology, but after completing the required calculus courses and Introduction to the Earth (GEO 100) with Gina Seegers-Szablewski, I was hooked. I wanted a career that incorporated traveling and field work; both things are necessary in geology.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
As a child, I moved several times; but each time, it was near by a body of water. Ice skating, fishing, swimming, beachcombing, and playing in sand spits near the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State: all of these things influenced and added to my interest in hydrology. In retrospect, my first major should have been geosciences, not history. Water science is tough, but very satisfying. The hydrogeology/hydrology courses at UWM are well instructed, and there is nothing better than receiving an “A” in Physical Hydrogeology.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Iceland. After a semester spent mastering the “fire and ice” geology of Iceland, it was very fulfilling to see the interaction first-hand. Never having been on a volcano, the epic hike culminating at the lava-ice contact at the crater was amazing.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
Nearly every geosciences course has at least one field trip. There were consecutive months in Spring where each weekend was dedicated to field work in places such as the Upper Peninsula and several locations all over Wisconsin. Along with regular semester courses, field camp is required for a geology degree. Aside from the fairy-tale Icelandic experience, my field camp, located in Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada, was another highlight. What other major requires six weeks of exploring and hiking?
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
As part of the Field Methods in Hydrogeology class, I was involved in an ongoing research project in the Katherine Wolter Nature Conservancy Wilderness Area. Combining geophysical data from 2003 and current data we collected in October 2010, we hope to shed new light on the confounding groundwater flow problem in the area; I am co-presenting this research as a student poster project at the AWRA Meeting this March.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
Tenacity, a love for the outdoors, and not being afraid of getting dirty.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
The faculty is awesome and very friendly. Some professors in other departments are inaccessible and distant; everyone in the Department of Geosciences will return an email or phone call quickly. Also, the GeoClub and PaleoClub are great ways to get involved and very open to new ideas.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Do not be shy of Lapham Hall’s 3rd floor. The professors are filled with great advice and will answer your questions. The opportunities to get involved are there; you only have to ask.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
Milwaukee is a creative place; it is an independent “little” big city with unique culture. Downtown and the immediate vicinity is filled with things to do – small and large scale festivals year round, art shows, and several vibrant music venues. Lastly, the presence of Lake Michigan has undoubtedly added a dash of conservation and environmental responsibility to everyday life.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
I am currently applying to graduate schools and hope to focus on water resource engineering and ice physics in my graduate work. After completing my Master’s degree, I want to get involved with an Engineers Without Borders program or Army Corps of Engineers project involving water supply and quality in developing countries.