Ellie StapletonEllie Stapleton; Undergraduate Student


I’ve spent my whole life in Wisconsin and from a young age I’ve been interested in rocks and nature. Camping and fishing as a youngster made me curious about the outdoors and how the earth came to be the way it was. I knew I wanted to be a geologist ever since high school when an enthusiastic teacher encouraged me and that is how I ended up here at UWM. UWM is a great place to learn geology. Not only are the professors kind and helpful, but the environment of the department is relaxed and inviting as well. I look forward to spending my time here as a graduate too.

Besides geology, I am interested in fishing for largemouth bass, playing guitar, and going horse back riding. I have loved horses ever since I was a kid and have been lucky enough to be able to work at a local horse barn and ride whenever I want. I also enjoy camping all over Wisconsin and I try to see a different part of the state every summer. Someday, probably far in the future, I want to live on a farm here in the Midwest.

  1. Hometown/High School?
    I am from New Berlin, Wisconsin and graduated from New Berlin West High School.
  2. Year in School and expected graduation date?
    Senior. Hopefully Spring 2011.
  3. What brought you to UWM?
    It is nice and close to home and it is a beautiful campus. Plus the professors are awesome!
  4. What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
    I just love being outside and enjoying nature! Also, classes from high school made me take interest in the geosciences.
  5. What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
    I think that I would like to work with sedimentary rocks, either studying things such as geological environments, or working in hydrogeology, where we look at such things as the water table and how we can best utilize our water resources.
  6. What's been your best experience so far?
    I have really enjoyed all of my geology classes, but I especially like the fieldtrips. There is only so much geology that you can learn from inside a classroom. I was fortunate enough this past summer to be invited along to Montana to help out with a graduate student’s research (hi Mike!). It was a great experience and showed me what it is really like to work out in the field.
  7. Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
    Yes! As mentioned earlier, I love fieldtrips! Besides Montana, the best fieldtrip so far has been on Bill Kean’s Geology of Wisconsin trip. It was a great way to start of the semester by seeing the beautiful landscapes of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
  8. Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
    Not yet….
  9. What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
    I am hard-working and I enjoy being outside, so a little rain doesn’t bother me too much. I think it’s important for geologists to be able to handle different weather and terrain conditions.
  10. How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
    Totally awesome! The professors are very knowledgeable and are always willing to help you or answer any questions you have. They will take time out of their already busy schedules to answer questions on assignments or just talk. All of the fellow students I have met are really nice too!
  11. Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
    The program can be difficult to get through; there are a lot of classes to take. But you just have to stick it out and try your best. Also, get to know people in the department. Talk to professors often or join one of our clubs, Geology club or Paleo club.
  12. What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
    Milwaukee is a large city, but it still preserves the beauty of nature with its many well kept parks and the beaches of Lake Michigan.
  13. What are your plans after you graduate?
    I plan on pursuing a master’s degree here at UWM after I graduate. I would either like to end up teaching or being a sedimentary geologist of some kind.

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