I obtained my M.S. in Geology in May 2018 with a focus on subduction zone earthquake geophysics in New Zealand at the University of Missouri. I now attend the University of California-Berkeley where I am working towards my Ph.D. in the Human Evolution Research Center. My background in Earth Sciences, Human Evolution, and years of research experience from IU is the foundation I am building my career around!
What drew you into the Earth Science Major?
The idea that your entire academic and professional career is based on discovering the details of what makes up our planet and others in the universe. With Earth Sciences, you can learn almost anything you could want to about our planet: Why are there earthquakes and volcanoes? What environments have organisms evolved in? What makes weather? And, everything in between. While your friends might be studying physics, or business, or whatever, you get to study something very unique. You’ll find yourself venturing outside more, and your curiosity is not limited to a lab or a spreadsheet. The planet and the solar system is literally your academic playground, and anyone in this field can tell you how you can relate Earth Sciences to so many other disciplines.
What topics were you most excited to learn about in Earth Sciences classes?
If I’m being honest, everything. I took classes on topics from Dinosaurs to Advanced Igneous Petrology. The majority of my classes were in geophysics though, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
What has been the most interesting/influential experiences you have had as a major?
The most obvious would be the amazing field trips/courses. At IU, I was able to travel to the Sierra Nevada area, Missouri, the Appalachians, Baltimore, Palm Springs, Hawaii, and Tanzania three times. All of these experiences exposed me to the world and helped me shape who I am and what I am interested in.
What advice would you give to new students in the major?
Take every opportunity you can. That includes courses, field trips, and talking to everyone in the department. From Dr. Claudia Johnson to Dr. Michael Hamburger, each faculty member has a unique perspective on the field and what you can do in it. It doesn’t matter if you’re not particularly interested in what they do, I have never been turned away at the door when asking for advice or ideas. Even after I have left, I still find myself coming back to arms wide open. Our department is a unique and special place designed to push you in the direction you see yourself going. You never know what conversations could lead to and you truly don’t know what you love until you see it all. Luckily, you’re able to do that here.