A Day in the Life of a Geoscientist

Exploring Geoscience Careers

Activity Leaders: Kristian Chan, Nicole Gonzales, Solveig Schilling

Our project aims to educate high school students about geoscience careers and inspire them to pursue a geological science degree.

By creating an engaging and genuine video about our lives as graduate students, we hope to start a conversation in high school classrooms about who geoscientists are and the role they play in many aspects of society. Geoscience is not just oil and gas - it encapsulates hydrogeology, ocean and atmospheric sciences, planetary studies, environmental science, and sustainability.

Geoscientists are vital to solving today's pressing energy and climate issues.

Our video leverages the personal and professional experiences of three geoscience graduate students, spanning various geoscience subfields, to inspire high school students to pursue a geoscience major and career. While videos about general geoscience careers are available, our video project utilizes a more direct outreach approach and can be easily shared with high school educators and students.

Kristian Chan

B.S. Civil Engineering,

Cornell University

M.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin (expected 5/2023)

B.A. Geology with Computational Science and GIS Certification, University of Colorado Boulder

M.S. Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin

(expected 5/2022)

Solveig Schilling

B.S. Geology, B.S. Earth Systems, Coastal & Marine Sciences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

M.S. Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin (expected 8/2022)

Our Design Process

Geoscience education is not part of the traditional school curricula. Without a basic understanding of what geoscience is or the careers available to geoscience graduates, the whole discipline is simply overlooked and regarded as rock science. And who would want to study rocks?

The 3 of us - Nicole, Kristian, and Solveig - stumbled upon geoscience and while sharing our stories with one another, we realized that educating high school students of our field is critical in order to support its growth and evolution. High school students are at a pivotal point in their lives in deciding their future careers. Geoscience must be made accessible, and it demands to be talked about to inspire the next generation of geoscientists.

We spoke to Centennial High School (Fort Worth, TX) teacher, Sabrina Ewald, to learn more about ways to help students find a passion for science, specifically geoscience. As the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Teacher of the Year Awardee, she is renowned for her hands-on approach to geoscience education and is dedicated to providing her students with a positive learning experience. When we proposed our video idea to her, she was very excited and shared key insight into how we can best engage her students.

Even though we chose to pursue a graduate degree, we want to reassure high school students that you don't need a graduate degree to be a geoscientist. Most universities provide a geology track and a geophysics track and it can be tough to decide which one to pursue. Check out the chart below to learn more!

Target Outcomes and Impact

Our goal is to share our video with high school teachers so that they can incorporate it in the classroom along with their geoscience lesson plans. Our impact will be measured in video views and how many students we reach.