Peter Danner; Undergraduate Student
Hello friends! My name is Peter Danner, and I am a non-traditional undergrad (returning adult student). After high school I attended Marquette University here in Milwaukee with a focus in Journalism and Broadcast Communication. After a couple years there I made the tough but informed decision that it just wasn’t my bag. I travelled the country for a while (mostly following my favorite band – Phish!) before setting up in Flagstaff, AZ as a butcher’s apprentice. A couple more years past and I realized hocking meat wasn’t the dream either. Fortunately my free time in the AZ wild gave me the opportunity to experience geologic processes and events that were completely foreign and exciting to a Midwestern-raised boy, further developing and inspiring my love of all things geology. Realizing I wanted to be a part of the science end of Earth processes, and wanting to return to the Great Lakes region, I did my research and found UWM to be a great fit! So thankful I did! I am currently majoring as a B.S. in Geophysics with fragmented interests in glacial geology, sedimentary geology and hydrogeology. I am also currently serving as the GeoClub President here at UWM (come check us out!), I am a student member of the Geological Society of America, and I was awarded a research grant through the department at the end of the Spring ’12 semester. I currently work at Outpost Natural Foods in Wauwatosa and I have a side interest in organic and sustainable food sourcing. Rock on.
- Hometown/High School?
Milwaukee Lutheran H.S. – Milwaukee, WI
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
Super Senior – Dec 2013
- What brought you to UWM?
Marquette University does not have a geoscience department, thankfully.
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
My love of traveling combined with a desire to understand the geologic processes that shape the physical world around us.
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
Ideally I would like to be involved in policy related to groundwater contamination and remediation. Milwaukee County is in a unique position globally with our access to freshwater resources - being situated on the Great Lakes - and I would like to someday be a part of preserving those resources as my legacy.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Two things immediately come to mind. First, meeting all the talented, incredibly smart and all-around good people that make up this department, fellow students and instructors alike, has been such a pleasure. Also, learning more about our regional geologic history has been enriching. From our pristine glacial landscapes in SE Wisconsin to the world-class copper and iron deposits in the U.P. to the volcanic intrusives that make up the shores of Lake Superior, all just fascinating to me.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
Every course has a field trip associated with it, so yes I have been on a few. Each trip offers great opportunities to go beyond the classroom and get hands-on experience in the field. Not only that, but they offer a great opportunity to bond with your classmates and your instructors. The trips to the Upper Peninsula have been some of my favorite.
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
Not quite, I am currently in the middle of putting a project together, hopefully to start this fall.
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
My love of all things Earth Sciences – minerals, fossils, planets, space, water, natural processes... Let’s just say it’s been a really difficult task narrowing my focus.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
There is so much more going on here than even a simple Google search can relay. The instructors, the staff, fellow students, lab equipment, research initiatives, all located in a relatively small and intimate department…I could go on but there are so many opportunities to be successful at whatever field you choose to go into. It still amazes me what I feel like I am a part of. Of course the old adage does apply, the more you put in, the more you really do get out.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Get involved! Talk to your instructors about your interests and goals, join one of the clubs, really make the effort to get to know your other classmates, volunteer your time. It can make all the difference in your undergrad experience.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
I feel I am at an advantage going to school in my hometown. My family and established network of friends and associates is a great asset, plus I know the area geographically. After traveling the country a bit I’ve come to appreciate how great of an academic and cultural hub Milwaukee is in a great state in the best region of the country! Plus we have some of the best breweries in the world (thank you Lake Michigan!)
- What are your plans after you graduate?
Ha! My plans change from year to year. Grad school is an eventual destination. I also hear petroleum geology is in a boom. But really, who fracking knows.