I was born in Wisconsin Rapids, WI in the 7th year of the United States' "Baby Boom".
Where do you reside now?
West Allis, WI
What degree(s)did you obtain from UWM and when?
B.A.: Psychology 1975, Geosciences 2007.
What was your field of interest in Geology at UWM?
Dyanna's deformed rocks! --I'm interested in all things geological and earth science related, but have a special affinity for metamorphosed rocks, especially migmatites: I appreciate their tenacity!
What brought you to UWM to study Geosciences for your degree?
I enjoyed UWM in the '70's and had seriously considered a geology degree back then, but opted out. Then, about 10 years ago, my husband, Dave, encouraged me: "Go back and get the geology degree you've always wanted." So, I did. We like UWM. Dave and one of our sons are UWM grads, too.
What did you enjoy most about the department, UWM, and Milwaukee?
I loved all aspects of being back in school, and being around the professors and fellow scholarly rock lovers was a real kick. It's great to see the instruction and department so strong and vital. We love living here because Milwaukee is the "City of Festivals" and we attend many of them. We regularly enjoy many of the theatre groups and ethnic restaurants, as well as the museums and symphony orchestra. Plus, the State Fair is just two blocks away from our house! How much better can it get?
What is your current job (or field of study) and how would you describe it to one of our current students (e,g,m what do you do, how rewarding is it)?
I work four blocks from home at West Allis City Hall in the Building Inspections and Neighborhood Services Department. My primary job is scanning in documents created for/by the department for permanent and accessible record-keeping. I'm also part of the clerical staff and thoroughly enjoy working with the public and the eleven inspectors in the department. I like to walk to work and I love the detailed office work I get to do.
Why did you choose this career?
I've been a rock hound all my life. I've always loved rocks as did my grandmother and her mother. I think it's in my genes. I always loved going to my paternal grandmother's house where I could see her inside and outside rock collections. She died in 2004 when she was 97, and at her funeral I learned from some relatives that in the 1800s her mother usually had rocks in her farm dress and apron pockets! Having more knowledge about rocks feeds my soul, and also helps me in my role as president and field trip coordinator for the Wisconsin Geological Society (WGS).
What's been your best experience in geology (or your career) so far?
Being involved with the Wisconsin Geological Society (WGS) has been very rewarding. I've been able to create talks and PowerPoints for the club about my vacations and course work, plus provide background information for field trips I've been on and led, eg., club members really liked hearing about the Baraboo area, and Van Hise rock was a big hit, thanks to what I'd learned doing my Structure Project for Dyanna. I also enjoyed doing independent study, collecting data and creating a poster about the Waukesha Fault. I'd love to someday gather additional data and do more with it.
In your career, have you gotten the opportunity to travel or to work with people as part of your job?
I haven't traveled for my job, but UWM class trips, the required field study coursework, WGS field trips and rockhounding with Dave have all been very rewarding. I've been to: Canada four times; Calif.; Utah twice; Colorado; Montana twice; New Mexico; and, of course, the Midwest . In addition, when we were in Poland, I appreciated the geology of the "Eagles Nests" limestone outcrops and plentiful cherts in the southern regions. It was cool seeing castles built onto exposed limestone, as well. I've traveled with WGS, e.g., we were in Canada near Thunder Bay last summer where we dug for amethysts.
What trait or thing(s) that you learned while in Geosciences at UWM has allowed you to succeed in your career?
I believe the course work at UWM showed me see that being a good geoscientist requires being able to see the big picture, but also knowing how to focus in on the little stuff. Good map reading skills are vital.
Do you have any advice that you would give to our current students about their education or in selecting a career once they graduate?
Have fun. Learn as much as you can. Network.
What is/was the hardest thing that you had to do in your career?
Realize that, just like in the '70s, jobs are at a premium and even a Master's Degree wasn't going to guarantee me a job. But, no regrets. I'm pleased as punch to have my Bachelors Degree, shelves full of good lab and text books, and many wonderful memories and friends.