Justin Calhoun; Masters Student
I originally went to school to be a physicist, but changed my major sophomore to geology. I was immediately drawn to structural geology because I saw the problems as a mix between geometry and mechanical physics which had been my two favorite topics in high school. I’ve made it a goal to see as many rocks in as many places of the earth as I possibly can. I firmly believe that that best geologists are the ones who see the most rocks. I consider myself a field geologist, and I am most happy and productive doing field work. My thesis field work went well and I’m anxious to start collecting data in preparation for a presentation at the GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC on November 7th. I’ve also received several research awards and scholarships from UWM, GSA, WGS and the Geology department.
- Previous degrees (Degree and University)?
Illinois State University, B.S. Geology
- Expected graduation date?
- What is your field of study and how would you describe it to a prospective graduate student?
I study structural geology under Dr. Dyanna Czeck. My project specifically looks at the magnetic and mineral deformation fabrics in a pluton which intruded into a thrust belt.
- What brought you to UWM to study Geosciences for your graduate degree?
I was blown away by the diversity and quality of projects coming out of the department, and some last minute funding.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Getting freakishly nice weather the entire time I was doing field work! 3 weeks of 60 degree rainless weather in Scotland.
- In graduate School, have you gotten the opportunity to travel as part of your education?
You can’t be a geologist and not travel. I’ve participated in international and domestic field trips, fieldwork, paleontology club trips, and meetings.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in graduate school?
Patience and not letting myself get too stressed.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a new graduate student in your program?
Apply for every grant and scholarship opportunity that crosses your desk. It comes in handy when you need it the most. Realize that it’s okay to not know the answer to every question, but knowing how to figure out every question is the important part.
- What has been the hardest part about being a graduate student?
The hardest thing in graduate school for me has been getting my driving record from Illinois so I can become a certified driver.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
Originally I wanted to work for a mining company, but I’m more interested in teaching now. I want to start a non-profit educational program that runs field trips and fossil hunting excursions.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
A diverse school with faculty that gives all their students the attention they need and students that are genuinely interested in what they do.
- What has been you r favorite activity while you've been in Graduate School in Milwaukee?
In graduate school my favorite activity has been going on fossil hunting trips with the Paleontology club, and around town it’s rock climbing at Turner Hall.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
The food, I like the amount of restaurants that focus on using local and sustainable food sources.