Andrew Heinowski; Undergraduate Student
When growing up I had many thoughts of what I wanted to do, and I thought many careers would be interesting. I would be lying though if I didn’t say that throughout my life “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959) and “Jurassic Park” (1993) were not amongst my favorite movies, even with their fantasy take on geology. Yet, it wasn’t until my junior year of college that I declared my major in Geoscience, after I had taken a few geology courses. I am a very diverse person, trying to learn all I can from many circumstances. I have made many friends at UWM. I see it as a place to learn, but also hear others’ stories, and become connected with them. I believe that education changes people and makes them smarter in ways that are powerful. With that power, I realize I must keep my common sense and look at things with the wisdom I have been given.
Outside of college, I play drums in several bands, from various musical genres. One of those bands being the Drumlins, a geology department band. I like to exercise and lift weights. Part of this career is to be in shape and hike the topography of the earth. I also enjoy time at parks, beaches, and find nature to be essential to experience for people. I plant a lot of flowers in the summer to beautify the neighborhood and give people something colorful to look at. I have worked at the School District of New Berlin for the past 5 years. My position there is to clean the school for the kids. I am an officer of the student organization, Ecotone. The group’s goal is to better the environment through roof gardens, native plants, and to teach people the importance of a clean environment. I am also a proud member of Geoclub and Paleoclub.
- Hometown/High School?
Milwaukee and attended Pius XI High School.
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
I’m a senior and my expected graduation is summer 2012.
- What brought you to UWM?
It rocks! The wide variety of classes offered, the locality of Milwaukee, and the reputation, brought me here.
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
When I took Intro to Geology at MATC, I came across the beauty and awesomeness of geology. I also am still amazed at how many courses and options there are to study in this occupation.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
I really would like to get into geophysics and use of seismics to find what the layers of the “sands of time” have left us with. I feel that this is a powerful resource that must be used more to find the treasures buried below us. By using these means we do not have to destroy our planet to find critical information about it.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin have given me a lot of knowledge and have been very mind-blowing experiences. Think about standing on a billion-year-old lava flow!
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
Nearly every class has had field trips. Quite a few go to Devils Lake. It is interesting looking at ALL the geology of a certain place. Structure courses may go there and look at strikes and dips. Geomorphology looks at creep and erosional processes, while intro courses go there to look at the general environment and talk about glacial significances along the way.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
I did some research on glacial Lake Oshkosh with X-ray Diffraction. I found mineral differences from the summer and winter layers that were deposited. I have also had the chance to help prepare samples for X-ray Fluorescence to find composition changes along fault zones.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
My excitement for the knowledge has really brought me to engage in classes and bring my thoughts to others’ ears. If I don’t understand something or I think others are missing an interesting point, I bring it to the professor’s attention. Also not just getting the answer, but trying to see the bigger picture of why processes are happening really helped me.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
This department makes you feel welcome. Flexible office hours are just the beginning. You can make a lot of friends, not just with students, but with faculty as well. Everyone wants to see you succeed. TA’s are very helpful and are way more than an acquaintance, and can become friends for life.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Have fun with the classes you are taking. Equations are tough at times, but let your mind see what the numbers mean. Even though the upper level “fun” classes may be hard, you can learn a lot if you open your eyes and become involved in the department.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
I love how close Milwaukee is to Lake Michigan. I like passing by the lake every day and seeing what colors the water appears to be. I do not party too often, but I like that it is easy to interact with others in a city of this size.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
I would like to work in the field and get my hands dirty exploring and finding out what lies beneath us. Maybe grad school after a few years of an entry level job.