thao1_cropCheng Thao; Undergraduate Student

My hobbies are fishing, working-out, camping, hiking, mineral/rock hunting, canoeing; well, mostly anything relating to being outdoors and that is why I’m perusing my Bachelor’s in Geoscience since all these opportunities may be available in the field. The discipline in the Geosciences in which I’m focusing around is Hydrogeology. I’m currently enrolled in Physical Hydrogeology and Water Quality and hope to finish off the year with Chemical Hydrogeology and Environmental Surface Hydrology. The reason why I’m focusing on Hydrogeology is the significance of freshwater resources and their impact on the local and regional communities which are dependent of this resource. So by pursuing a career in hydrogeology, I hope to contribute to the conservation and preservation of the Great Lakes and their tributaries in hopes of providing a healthier life for families, friends, and the ecosystem.

  1. Hometown/High School?
    Manitowoc, WI
    Lincoln Senior High School - Class of 2008
  2. Year in School and expected graduation date?
    Senior, Graduating in Spring of 2013
  3. What brought you to UWM?
  4. What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
    The thing which convinced me to major in Geosciences is wanting a career where I can be outdoors, and by taking several geosci courses and seeing the types of jobs geologist do, it just sparked an interest in the field.
  5. What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
    My field of interested is hydrogeology but I haven’t taken any hydro courses. The field sparks my interest through fishing, reading articles and journals, and from guest speakers and their research. Furthermore, I also believe in the conservation and preservation of the Great Lakes and the surrounding areas and through this field I can help out a little. What I would say is don’t limit yourself to a specific field until you have explored the other geosciences disciplines.
  6. What's been your best experience so far?
    Field camp at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, because I gained valuable knowledge in doing field work, rock & mineral identification, and it gave me a better insight into field geology. Plus, I also found a tourmaline crystal at Custer State Park, SD while I was there.
  7. Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
    Haven’t participated in field trips/travels outside of school and I only traveled to the Black Hills in South Dakota and Wyoming for field camp.
  8. thao2_cropHave you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
    Nope, but it would be interesting./li>
  9. What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
    Prioritizing; Spending time outside of class to look at stuff or double check things to get a better understanding of what is going on or what I was exactly looking at, especially for rock and mineral identifications.
  10. How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
    Very friendly, easy to get along with, and flexible professors. Also the department helps open your eyes to different specific fields and views of the world through weekly colloquiums.
  11. Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
    Join the Paleo or Geo club to meet other undergraduates and also to be more involved in geology.
  12. What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
    The most enjoyable part about Milwaukee (coming from a small city) is the diversity of people and the opportunities to see other views of the world ranging from an atom to the Earth and beyond.
  13. What are your plans after you graduate?
    Find a job relating to geoscience mainly concentrating on hydro and petroleum related fields or continue with school if that doesn’t work out.

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