Jessi Sielicki; Undergraduate Student
Hi all – I’m Jessi, and this is my second year in the Geo Sci department. I spent the previous six years in the Bio Sci department and got my first B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry. I realized after a year hiatus from school that I couldn’t find a job I liked in my field, but remembered how much I liked the chemical hydrogeology, so I decided to go back to school to study it. So, here I am, a year away from my second degree, hoping to gain some experience in the field before I graduate. Next year I plan to attend graduate school, but I’m not sure where yet – maybe somewhere out west?
- Hometown/High School?
Grew up in Cedarburg, WI and attended Cedarburg HS
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
Senior – May 2012
- What brought you to UWM?
I wasn’t ready to move far away from my family after I graduated HS, so I chose UWM because it’s close to where I grew up
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
Well, my first degree at UWM was a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a Chemistry minor. During my last semester pursuing this degree, I took Chemical Hydrogeology because I thought it sounded interesting. Even though this was my first Geo Science class and I really had no experience with the department, I totally fell in love with the topic, thanks to Tim Grundl’s enthusiasm.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
I would like to go into hydrogeology – this is the area of Geo Sci that deals with groundwater movement and distribution (like aquifers). Chemical hydrogeology is really interesting because you learn about dissolved ions in the water and can trace groundwater flow based on their concentrations.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Being able to go on all the awesome field trips around the state and UP and go camping.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
Yes – I love it! There aren’t any opportunities like this in the Bio Sci department.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
I did independent research in the Bio Sci department on degrative enzymes in carnivorous pitcher plant fluids, but nothing so far in the Geo Sci department.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
I think it helps that I really enjoy earth sciences as a whole and would love to have a career where I can be outside as much as possible – geology seems like the best fit for that. I also like learning about rocks because I used to collect them when I was younger, and now I can look at them and actually know what they are.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
Very friendly, helpful, and educated – All of my classmates are just as ambitious as I am and the professors are just as eager to teach as you are to learn.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
It was very easy to make close friends in this department when I was new to it, and it has really helped me get through some of the hard exams and projects because they made excellent study buddies.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
I’ve been living in Milwaukee for the last 8 years and although the winters can be rough sometimes, the summers make up for it – there’s so much to do down by the lake and around the city; there are always street festivals and live music to see, and there are nice trails to hike down by the river.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
Probably graduate school…unless I can find a job I like first.