Pierre Couture; Undergraduate Student
I'm Pierre Couture, a non traditional student (45 yrs old) perusing my love of geology. I enjoy all geological processes from glaciation, to mountain building and the studying rocks and minerals. I'm especially fascinated with the geologic history of Wisconsin from its failed rifting in the north, the folding of the Baraboo range, and the drumlins and glacial landscapes of South East Wisconsin. I'm an education major (Earth and Space science) with a geoscience minor. My goal is to become a geology teacher and inspire young minds with a fascination for the Earth and its many processes. I have been awarded sophomore honors in the school of education and I also tutor students in the geoscience 100 level courses for Panther Academic Support Services. I'm a member of the Geo club, Paleo Club, and the Wisconsin Geological Society. I enjoy sharing my passion for geology with others and hope to inspire young minds to pursue the geosciences or at least to help them better understand the Earth beneath their feet.
- Hometown/High School?
Muskego, Muskego High School
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
Sophomore, Spring 2014
- What brought you to UWM?
I looked it up online and was impressed with the faculty, what they study, where they've been and the subjects offered in geoscience.
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
. I'm going into the MACSTEP program for Earth and space science teaching. I was inspired by my high school geology teacher. He is someone I will never forget. He instilled in me a deep desire for geologic formations, processes and how they related to our everyday lives. He taught roadside geology, and I've taken his words and knowledge with me everywhere I've been. The opportunity here at UWM to fulfill my passion is the chance of a lifetime for me.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
Since I'm going to teach, I'm exploring all the fields equally, but if I were to peruse a specific field, it would be metamorphic petrology. Metamorphic processes change the very fabric of the planet in fantastic ways. Mountain building events shaped the continents and are continuing to shape them to this very day.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Field trips and lab work. Getting my hands on rocks and minerals and understanding them is the best. I have fun in the field with dirty hands, collecting samples and hopefully discovering something new and exciting, or at least a cool rock to add to my collection.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
? I've attended the Geo 100 field trip and the mineralogy field trip, and am ready for the petrology trip.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
The ability to visualize processes, understand them, and explain them.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
The geoscience department is an exciting place. The research conducted by the professors and grad students covers a fascinating array of areas. UWM has an outstanding collection of rocks, minerals and fossils in the Green gallery. You can feel the passion for geology here in the geoscience department, it's written on the walls and in the rocks.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Talk to your professors and get to know them, find out what their fields of interest are. Talk to your TAs and other Grad students to get a flavor for different aspects of the field. Attend the colloquiums. At first some of them may seem difficult to grasp, but it's a great way to see what is going on in the field of geology and it might just spark your interest in a particular area. Once you've taken a few classes, you'll start thinking more like a geologist and less like a student. Get involved in the clubs so you can hang out with others that love geology.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
? It's not too far from Devil's Lake and the Baraboo range, one of my favorite geological localities. It's got a wonderful centralized location in SE Wisconsin close to all the amenities, yet not too far away from glacial deposits, metamorphic features, and easily within a day of many more exciting places.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
Land a teaching job at a local school where I can share my passion for rocks and all processes geological and hopefully inspire future UWM geoscience students.