Bradley Marschke; Undergraduate Student
My name is Bradley Marschke, and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying Geology. I have always been a nature lover. The natural beauty of Earth and the wonder of the universe have always intrigued me to no end. Also, like most geologists, I have been collecting rocks since before I even knew what geology was. I originally came to UWM as a 23 year old, confused about what to be studying. As a first generation college attendee, I never had many ideas on the possibilities of college. I began signing up for classes simply on the basis of them sounding interesting. Finally, in my second or third semester, I took Geosci-106, The Earth Environment, taught by Rob Graziano, and I was officially hooked. It was a huge epiphany realizing how perfect the major was for me and, as I’m finding now, still is. After that I took Geosci-100 taught by Gina Szablewski, got to experience the lab and the field trip, and knowing that was just the intro class and there was way more to come, instantly ran to officially declare the major. I have also taken the 111 Oceanography class, Historical Geology, Mineralogy, and am currently enrolled in Sed. Strat. and Petrology.
- Hometown/High School?
Hamilton High School. Sussex, WI
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
Junior. May, 2014
- What brought you to UWM?
I originally came to UWM as a confused tech school student studying nursing but craving a bachelors degree and wondering what else there was.
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
Many things. The department is great, the people are awesome, and like anyone in the science field, I have a passion for it. Nobody in their right mind would do this if they didn’t love it.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
I have always been interested in risk/hazard assessment, which involves every branch of Geology depending on the environment around you.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Honestly the field trip to Iron Mountain was huge. Not only was it the first big field trip in the geosciences for me, but it was more reinforcement to myself that I was definitely studying the right major. It also solidified the bond between all of us geokids. I think all of my classmates are great and I’m glad I am going through this major with such a cool group.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
I have not yet been able to travel or do field work, but every Geosciences class has a field trip, whether it be optional or mandatory, they are always great. The major also requires a field camp that is at least 3 weeks long. I will get field experience there and I am very excited for it.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
The opportunities are always there and the department does a great job at notifying everyone about them. Unfortunately, I myself have not participated in one yet.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
I think it’s my openness and willingness to learn, along with allowing myself to be excited by science and beauty. I can hold something that is over 2 billion years old; tell what it’s made out of, and the environment it has endured from genesis until now. So not only is there knowledge of the rock, but an idea of what the entire earth was like through time. And that knowledge gives us great ideas as to what the future holds. To me that is amazing. Geology rocks!
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
It is small, friendly, prompt, eager to help, and comes with great friends and plenty of tools to aid in one’s success.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Keep your passion and keep a good perspective. Other than that, just rock it...it can often require a lot of hard work and persistence, but it is very easy to find yourself having fun and being fascinated while you learn.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
Well I grew up in the surrounding area so I guess I would say I enjoy it most because it’s home. I love seeing how fast it is starting to be dominated by young, educated, and talented people. It is becoming a very modern city concentrated on, and delighted by, small, local business. I have also seen a huge boom in science and concentrations on being “green” in recent years. In summer there are endless amounts of things to do and fests to attend. People are generally very friendly and of course, we have great, hardy food and beer!
- What are your plans after you graduate?
I was recently accepted on by a local environmental consulting firm as an intern. I will likely get into that field right after I graduate. I will never say never to the possibility of graduate school as well, perhaps a little later.