Brookfield WI/ Brookfield East High School
Year in School and expected graduation date?
I am a senior. I will be graduating (hopefully) May of '13
What brought you to UWM?
As a freshman in college, I attended Northern Illinois Univeristy as an intended meteorology major. I didnt realize that meteorology involved a lot of math and since I am not the strongest math student, it was a bit too difficult for me. I then transferred to Whitewater for a year where I investigated other majors and then decided that UWM was where I wanted to be and transferred once.
What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
I've always been interested in geology. The first thing I ever wanted to be when I was little was a paleontologist because I was so fascinated by ancient life (especially the dinosaurs!). After looking into many different majors, I was convinced that geosciences was for me because for the first time, I actually wanted to read my textbooks!
What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
I'm still in the process of figuring out which field of study I'd like to go into but so far it is volcanology. Volcanology is the study of volcanoes and their current and historic eruptions and they are one of the many ways our Earth shows us how cool she really is!
What's been your best experience so far?
I have had so many great experiences so far that it is hard to pick one. However, I would have to say that the best experience for me so far has been meeting all of the incredible professors, grad students and undergrads associated with the geosci department. I'm willing to bet that we have some of the coolest, most intelligent and interesting people on campus.
Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
The cool thing about geo is that for almost every class you take, there is a field trip! What better way to understand the things you are learning about then to get out in the field and see them first hand? Last semester I went to Northern Wisconsin/ U.P. Michigan for mineralogy where we visited different outcrops to check out different minerals and Southern Indiana for paleontology where we collected fossils that were millions of years old. Both trips were very cool. I am attending field camp this summer which I am so excited for and I hope to go to Iceland before I graduate to check out the volcanoes.
Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
I will be working on research this semester. My goal is to attend the upcoming GSA conference and present a poster of the research I have done.
What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
I think the thing that has allowed me to be so successful in geology is my ability to communicate with others. I have been fortunate that I have made many great connections and learned so much beyond the classroom. Speaking to others about their experiences as an undergrad has really helped me in the decisions that I have made and will continue to make. I encourage anyone who is interested in geosci to do the same. Don't be afraid to ask questions, meet as many people as you can and most importantly, follow the advice that you are given.
How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
You won't find a cooler group of people than those in the geosci department. All the professors and grad students are there to help you and the best part of it is they truly want to see you succeed.
Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Get Involved! Go to geo club, paleo club, colloquims, etc. so you can meet people in the department. The connections that you make will help you through for the rest of your time at UWM.
What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
The night life. I bartend downtown and I am fortunate to meet some very cool people. I like that Milwaukee isn't too big nor too small- it's just right! And since I'm a baseball fan, I have to say the Brewers too!
What are your plans after you graduate?
My hope is to be accepted to the grad school at the University of Montana and continue on to a Ph.D program. I want to get out in the field and eventually, I would like to teach.