Alison Chase '09
Since graduating from Bowdoin in 2009, I've come full circle back to optical oceanography, which I studied during my honors project at Bowdoin. Along the way, I worked as a substitute teacher for a year, and then following that I spent two years living in Boston and working at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a company that does a variety of environmental consulting and radiative transfer research. I gained lots of great experience at AER in the area of atmospheric science, and learned valuable scientific programming skills. But, I missed the energy and chall
enge of an academic lifestyle, and decided to go back to school as a graduate student.
I started in August 2012 as an oceanography graduate student at the University of Maine in Orono. I am loving graduate school so far - the students and faculty are great and I love studying oceanography, as well as some marine biology. For my graduate work, I'm focusing on phytoplankton, and how they can be identified using optics; essentially the color of ocean water can provide information on the different types of phytoplankton that are present, and this can be used
to understand phytoplankton distributions in time and space. This summer I will have the opportunity to conduct some field work in the Arctic, which is an area of great interest since it is changing rapidly with a changing climate.
My Bowdoin experiences prepared me well for my work at AER, and for graduate school. I'm very grateful for the time I spent in the Geology (now EOS) department, which put me on the track towards becoming a scientist, and more specifically an oceanographer. I feel lucky to have had the chance to work with such inspiring and supportive faculty, and to be pursuing a career that I truly enjoy!
Adrienne Oakley '01
Professionally, I am the child of two very different parents. I did my undergraduate degree at a small, liberal arts college in Maine with less than 2000 students. At Bowdoin College I had small classes, excellent professors, and incredible opportunities for undergraduate research. For my PhD, I attended a large, state university in Hawaii where the focus of the school is squarely on research. My experience as an undergraduate fueled my desire to continue in the fields of geology and marine geophysics, eventually to teach. My graduate experience reinforced that love of geology and my teaching experience led me to understand that I want to teach at a school where the priority is undergraduate education and good teaching is not only valued, but expected.
As an assistant professor at Kutztown University, Adrienne is following her dreams by involving her students in exciting research adventures. Follow their progress at www.kutztown.edu/JOCMS2011 .
Forrest Horton '08
After graduating with the class of '08 in May, I worked for five months in Alaska for a contract minerals exploration company called Avalon Development Corporation. The job site, Donlin Creek, was a remote fly-in camp near Aniak dedicated almost entirely to geologic exploration of a massive porphyry gold deposit related to hydrothermal precipitation of sulfides. Working for twenty days at a time, my twelve hour days were divided evenly between analyzing thousands of feet of drilled core (known as core-logging) and field work involving soil sampling and mapping. Core-logging, although monotonous at times, provided an excellent opportunity to interpret small-scale mineralization, structures, and alteration in an effort to produce detailed large-scale subsurface models. Field work involved flying in helicopters to remote hillsides to produce preliminary field maps or to conduct GPS traverses while taking soil (or more often permafrost) samples. This was hard work in a harsh environment, but allowed me to be outdoors and see some beautiful landscapes. Chasing bears in the helicopters and finding caribou antlers were among the memorable highlights of the field season. In camp, I learned an enormous amount from the Yupik (Eskimo) and Athabascan (Native American/Indian) workers.
I would highly recommend mineral exploration to anyone interested in learning more about careers in industry or looking for an adventuresome well-paying job that provides a great opportunity to travel. The senior geologists on the project were good mentors and I came to understand the workings of the two companies invested in the exploration project: NovaGold, a young startup company, and Barrick Gold, the largest gold producing company in the world. I am certain that any graduate of the Bowdoin Geology Department would be well qualified for a job in exploration geology, and there are abundant job openings not only in Alaska, but across the globe.
Lindsay Szramek '02
After graduation I moved up to Fairbanks, Alaska to begin my graduate degree in geology. After two great years in the far north, I followed my advisor to Austin, Texas. I am looking at mantle recycling and explosive basaltic eruptions. I have two years left (hopefully) before I move on to the next step in my adventures. Graduate School has not been at all like I thought it would be. After having gone to a small school where you know everyone and everyone knows you it was quite a change to be at a school where I did not even know all the geology professors let alone students. Whenever I get frustrated I just think back to the reason I stay in school, to introduce future students to geology like I was in Rachel's intro class and lab with Joanne. The amount of information I was introduced to and the opportunities I had at Bowdoin I have not encountered since I left. When I get done with school, I would love nothing better than to be able to end up at a college that reminds me of Bowdoin.
Scott Drew '05
I am a graduate student at Ohio State University in the newly named School of Earth Sciences. I just defended my MS thesis. The research was concerned with sub-crustal magma petrogenesis and evolution beneath the Santorini volcanic field, Aegean Sea. My advisor was Dr. Michael Barton. It was mostly a geochemical modeling project using previously established data and samples.
For my PhD I will be studying the relationship between mafic magmatism/volcanism and extensional faulting under the care of Dr. Lindsay Schoenbohm. My field area is the Puna Plateau of NW Argentina. In fact, I recently explored my new field area during a preliminary field season with Lindsay and it was amazing. Argentina is a very beautiful country.
I am actively involved with designing and teaching undergraduate labs. I also help instruct our summer field camp for majoring seniors. I enjoy my teaching responsibilities as much as my research and I hope to stay in academia after I finish my PhD.
I definitely enjoyed my time at Bowdoin, in large part because of the Geology department. I think being able to learn geology in the field along the coast of Maine is unmatched by other departments. I also think that my time spent as Rachel Beane's student was a really important part of my Bowdoin experience. I have yet to interact with a better professor and I really do think that I would not have become a geologist if it were not for the classes that I took and the research that I conducted with her.
Abir Biswas '01
Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Michigan with Joel Blum in December '06 studying mercury cycling in forests and developing a method to use mercury isotopic ratios to identify mercury emission sources to the atmosphere. During my PhD I had the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in Wyoming, Washington state, and Alaska. Currently I am finishing up projects with Dr. Blum, including studies of mercury storage in Arctic peats (Barrow, AK) and mercury release during a forest fire near Fairbanks, AK.
I will be moving to Tucson, Arizona in September to start a postdoc with Peter Reiners (U of Arizona) and Lee Kump (Penn State) investigating paleowildfire in the geologic record. My wife, Janet Beagley (Bowdoin, Biology, '99) will be at the University of Georgia Veterinary School for the 2007-2008 year doing a large animal internship, but we look forward to living together in Tucson the following year.