Scott Walker-Young Alumni Spotlight
Employer: U.S. Geological Survey
Job Title: Summer intern
Degree: Geology, Spring 2015
Job Description :Collect baseline water quality data for the entire state of Wyoming. This summer we are focusing on collecting samples from domestic wells in Sheridan County, Wyoming, as part of a program the USGS has in place to help monitor shallow aquifer contamination in high contamination risk watersheds. As an intern, I am responsible for learning everything there is to know about groundwater sampling, and I spend two weeks a month up in Sheridan with a staff hydrologist sampling well water, conducting total coliform/ecoli bacterial tests on their water using mobile lab equipment, as well as using titration methods to find total alkalinity of the water. I take photographs of well sites, GPS measurements, field notes, make site sketches, and compile this data into ArcGIS maps.
Future Plans: Apply to consulting firms around Colorado or Montana
Advice for future students: I was selected for this internship based off of my outstanding work and grades during field camp. Good grades do pay off, and can get you this NAGT/USGS yearly internship if you get a stellar grade at field camp. Perhaps the most important bit of advice though, is to go beyond regular classwork in college. Think about it. When you graduate, everyone else will have the same amount of experience as you do. Those who get hired have additional experience such as undergraduate research, internships, and assistant work. Talk to your professors and grad students. Bug them time and again until they let you help with field work, lab work, research etc… Research internships and get as many as you can before you graduate. This way, you have a chance to see if what you are doing is really what you want to be doing. Don’t wait until after you graduate to find out that you really don’t enjoy studying groundwater or geophysics in an actual work-environment. Real world work is way different than studying in academia. Also, wait to have children until after you’re done with college! Good luck!Click to view the pdf version of profile
Francesca Valencia- Young Alumni Spotlight
Employer: GeoSystems, Inc
Job Title: Researcher/Assistant
Degree: Geology, Spring 2015
Job Description :Researching and analyzing soils and Geology Reports for sites of interest. Working with Senior Geologists in the field to identify rock types, develop, log, and map test pits on site. Working in the lab, conducting direct and residual shear tests, moisture and density tests, consolidation tests, and chemical tests. Using AutoCAD to produce direct shear test diagrams, plate templates for reports, test pit and boring logs, and cross-sections. Using programs to produce seismic parameters for site of interest.
Future Plans: Continue to work under the Senior Geologist at GeoSystems so that I can eventually test to become a Licensed Professional Geologist (Not all states require a license - CA does)
Advice for future students: The main thing that I can say I took away from my college experience is: strategy. No matter what class or project you have, there are always different ways to tackle whatever is on your plate, so when you're stressed out, just try to keep an open mind and look at your options. Something I really want people to realize is that everyone functions differently. So stop comparing yourself to your peers. Just because you see others studying/working a certain way, doesn’t mean that's the best method for you. And remember, what may be good for you may not be good for someone else. So if getting a C on an exam is an accomplishment for you, don't let someone else's goals diminish your own. Take your time in college to really understand how you function in a learning environment. It's important to get to know yourself, because when you get in the real world, there is still going to be a learning curve for the first couple of years. Another thing I really want to emphasize to other students is to please utilize your resource - whether it is office hours, tutoring, the counseling center, or RDS. Don't be afraid to reach out if you are having trouble, because support is always available to you at CSU. Talk with your professors, because often times it's going to be your responsibility to make sure you're getting the education you're paying for. I highly recommend visiting the counseling center and/or RDS because those services can help provide you with an enjoyable academic experience that will get you to walk at graduation, and I should have started using them sooner rather than later.Click to view the pdf version of profile
Natalie Backman - Young Alumni Spotlight
What is your favorite thing about your job?