"They doubted if girls can do geosciences, and I did!"
Arisa was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand to a family of engineers. Her brother and she shared a passion for the natural world. They were really curious about all the animals and plants! Family trips to the beach were Arisa's personal favorite since she has always been fascinated by the ocean.
This passion expanded to geology. After she graduated high school, she received a scholarship from a Thai petroleum company to study geosciences in the United States.
At the University of Texas at Austin, she has been conducting research on coastal geomorphology, looking at how Hurricane Harvey shaped the beach on the Texas Gulf Coast. After graduation, she will be entering the petroleum industry in Thailand as a geoscientist where she gets to put her skills into practice!
Eager to combine her curiosity about the ocean and her geosciences training, Arisa plans to pursue marine geomorphology/sedimentology in graduate school in the future.
Engineering and Medicine are popular career options in Thailand, and while the high school me enjoyed STEM, I knew I wanted something else. Chevron Geosciences Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand, ignited my career interest in geology as I found I could be exploring the outdoors and doing multidisciplinary science at the same time! That said, there were pressures from society and family for me to pursue Medicine instead. They were not sure if girls can succeed in geosciences, and that made me indecisive for a while.
After a couple more geosciences camps, I decided to give geology a shot. I enrolled at the Jackson School of Geosciences where I have met colleagues and scientists that have helped me grow professionally and personally. I have presented my research project in Washington, D.C. and in Vienna, Austria, and won several awards including Austin Geological Society's Best Undergraduate Poster Award and Robert L. Folk/ Earle F. McBride Petrography Award.
The surprising thing is...
...how even challenging geological concepts that deal with spatiality and 3D visualization can be grasped with persistence. At Chevron Geosciences Camp, while my teammates took 10 minutes to understand how to use the compass for bearing, the concept did not come naturally to me. It took me a while during my undergraduate career to build up the skills.
Even when you don't succeed at something on the first try, it does not mean you should not pursue it. Do your research, talk to people, ponder upon it a bit, and take responsibility of your own choices!