More on my major: I am a BS Geology track major.
I entered Lafayette with geology in mind: I had always been interested in the outdoors and the environment, plus I really enjoyed the earth science class I had in high school. So I only looked at schools that had geology. Lafayette had one, and I came in as a geology major. I took a geo class my first semester here and it was a really interesting class. I really liked all the geo professors I met as well, so I decided to stay a major.
What I like about studying geology and the geo department: Geology is a great major because I get to go on field trips in every class. I get to leave campus and go study in the outdoors, which is something that drew me to the field. Secondly, it is cool walking and driving around and being able to apply stuff that I just learned in class. I get to use my major in everyday situations, such as identifying ripple marks in an outcrop on my drive home. The department is great. I would say the professors are the best of any department. They really get to know you and care about you both academically and personally. Secondly, with the personal attention, it is easy to get involved with faculty research if you want.
My favorite geo class: Geomorphology. It is very interesting to learn about the processes that shape the surface of the Earth. The topics it covers are stuff you see every day such as rivers, karst features, and if you lived a little north of Easton, glacial deposits.
Topics in geology that I am particularly interested in: Glaciology, geomorphology, paleontology. There are just so many very interesting subdisciplines of geology.
I studied abroad in fall semester of my junior year at Leeds University in England: It was a great experience! I was able to take some more specific geo classes not offered at Lafayette such as glaciology and volcanology. I met lots of new and very interesting people, and just generally had a really good time over there.
I’ve worked on two research projects: I have worked with Professor Hovis on the thermal expansion of feldspar minerals. We were able to go to Cambridge University, England, where there is a high temperature x-ray diffraction machine. We heated feldspars with different compositions to see how they expanded during the heating. I am also currently working on my senior thesis with Professor Germanoski and Professor Wilson. I am using Lidar data to map former stream terraces along the Delaware River near Easton, PA. Lidar data produces a very accurate digital elevation model which is a digital representation of topography, and from this I can see how high the river used to be.
How I’ve spent my college summers: I spent my sophomore summer doing EXCEL research with Professor Hovis. My other two summers were spent working with the Museum of the Rockies paleontology field program helping them dig up dinosaurs out in Montana.
The geologically coolest place I’ve been: Giant’s Causeway (Northern Ireland). Not only is this some of the best columnar jointing in the world, but it has costal processes going on all the time. It rained heavily right before my visit, so there were mass movement deposits on the cliff. Combine all of this really cool stuff and add the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen, and you get the Giant’s Causeway.
Outside the classroom: I am the secretary for the geology club at Lafayette, which is fun. Mostly I am involved in a couple of music groups. I sing in Soulfege, the coed a cappella group on campus, and in our school’s concert choir.
My hobbies: I enjoy music. I sing a lot, and when I am home I will play some tuba. I also enjoy playing video games during my free time.
After graduation: I plan on going to grad school next year for an M.S. in glaciology. After this, I would like to get a Ph.D in the same thing and then conduct research as a profession.