I attended Western Michigan University’s Hydrogeology Field Course in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
What did receiving the J. David Lowell Field Camp Scholarship mean to you?
Receiving the J. David Lowell Field Camp Scholarship was an opportunity to expand my geologic horizons. I’ve learned that a great geologist doesn’t fit into one subsection of geology, a good geologist often knows a wide range of geologic fields. Being a geophysics major, the J. David Lowell Field Camp Scholarship allowed me to expand my geology knowledge and branch out into hydrogeology without having to worry about financial limitations.
What did that experience teach you about the geosciences, yourself, and your future career?
With the help of the David Lowell Field Camp Scholarship, I was able to take Western Michigan University’s Hydrogeology Field Course. I can honestly say that these last six weeks have been the most educational ones of my academic career. WMU’s field course covered a wide range of highly applicable topics. We started with geophysics and got hands-on experience with a wide range of geophysical equipment and methods. We then took a 40-hour HAZWOPER safety program to learn about workplace safety and receive our HAZWOPER certificates. Next was drilling week where we learned about well components, drilling methods, and were able to see many drilling operations in the field. Next was sampling week where we learned how to do low flow sampling, basic chemical testing, and how to valuably interpret the data we’d collected. Next was aquifer testing, where we performed various aquifer tests including slug tests and multi-well drawdown observation. Lastly, we learned about contamination and remediation. This is where we learned about a wide variety of remediation techniques and were able to see many of these techniques in use on some of Michigan’s Superfund sites.
What opportunities did attending field camp provide that you wouldn’t have had otherwise?
In addition to all these amazing classroom and hands-on experiences, we also met many great professionals who were eager to teach and talk to us about various hydrogeology-related fields. Each professional had their own wealth of knowledge, and it was a truly amazing opportunity to talk to them about what they do daily.
I was also nominated for a USGS NAGT internship!
In your opinion, how important is field camp for geoscience students?
I think field camps are monumentally important. Field camps bridge the disconnect between classroom learning and real-life application. There is a lot of information that is taught in the classroom and sometimes the link to application is lost. With field camps, you can see classroom principles in action and solidify information that will be beneficial to your career.
Why should individuals support field camp opportunities for students?
I believe that supporting field camp opportunities for students promotes and supports the advance of geologic discovery. As new advances, problems, and discoveries arise, the students of today will be the individuals that guide the future.