Caroline Mackin

Houston, Texas

"I was exploring the geosciences without even realizing it."

After reflecting on what originally got me into geosciences, I can see that as a young girl, it was the colorful gems and jewelry that peaked my interest in geology.

When I was in first grade, on a family trip to Colorado, my parents took me to the Argo Mill and Gold Mine in Idaho Springs in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a half hour outside of Denver. At Argo Mill, I learned about the different rock formations in Colorado, the forces constantly wearing and tearing on our Earth, and how Iron Pyrite (or “Fool’s Gold”) started a false gold rush. As I look back, I can see this trip to Argo Mill was the moment I first became captivated by geology, an interest that has since continued to grow through experiences I have had, for example, at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, in my earth science classes in middle school and throughout high school, and on various class modeling projects, such as a shield volcano I constructed in middle school and a weather predictor I created.

Although these activities interested in my early education years, I didn't realize that I was experiencing the geosciences when I designed a shield volcano, or looked at birthstone jewelry at the mall, or went on family hikes in Utah and Arizona. Through the geoscience ambassador program, I hope to bring awareness to the geoscientific significance in our daily lives.

My Pathway

I was first interested in the geosciences as a young girl. I was obsessed with the colorful minerals such as amethyst, rose quartz, and tigers eye. Then, in middle school, my fascination grew when asked to design a model shield volcano. Realizing that I found the geosciences at a young age, I have decided to work to promote geosciences in girl scout programs across the nation.

In addition to working as a geoscience ambassador, I am using my geophysics degree to work in a research lab studying glacier retreat in Greenland to better understand the effect this has on continental coasts. I hope to continue studying this throughout my undergraduate and into my future graduate years.

How I see the geosciences in a hands on way:

I run marathons with my family!

During COVID, my mother encouraged my two sisters and I to run to stay fit and healthy. Becoming obsessed with the sport, I began to sign up for marathons across the country. While running 26.2 miles, I have plenty and plenty of time to observe the scenery around me. Before each of my races, I google the geologic profile of the area I am in so that I know what I am looking for. Having the opportunity to run a marathon in 10 states has really allowed me to see the different geology of the United States in a hands on way.

Although marathons are my way of exploring my world, even taking a walk or hike can allow you to see the Earth you live on! Take a look at the links below to find a hike that works for you

The Woodlands, TX.

Three Lakes, WI.

Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Death Valley, CA.

Contact Me!

Reach out to learn more about the geosciences, about how to become a geoscientist, or to talk about your own story.