Nicole Gonzalez

Houston, TX

"Forge your own path! Pursue your passions and be bold."

Hi there! My name is Nicole and I'm a geologist. I was born in Burbank, CA and moved to Houston, TX when I was 7 years old. As a child, I loved asking questions and my favorite subjects were science and theatre. Inspired by my mom's love for medicine, I wanted to be a doctor. Or so I thought!

I was introduced to geology in high school when I was selected to participate in a 4-year program called GeoFORCE Texas at the Jackson School of Geosciences. I traveled to various geological sites around the U.S. and received mentorship from energy company geologists that joined us on our trips. Inspired by the work and legacy of our industry sponsors, I knew I wanted to be a geoscientist.

Now I'm a master's student at UT Austin researching shallow marine storm deposits along the southwest Oregon Coast - it's come full circle! Learn more about my story below or feel free to contact me!

My Story

I always dreamt of becoming a physician like my mother. Her stories about how she was able to give someone hope for a better future sparked in me a sense of social conscience and responsibility from an early age. I thought medicine was the best way to contribute to society and make an impact, but my participation in the GeoFORCE Texas program made me question this.

This program gave me the opportunity to experience a new, hands-on science that intrigued me due to its application to solve real world issues like the energy and climate crisis. I began to read books about the energy industry and one novel in particular, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein, presented me with an entirely new perspective of the oil and gas industry. Epstein's message that access to energy improves the quality of life for everyone on our planet gave me a renewed sense of confidence that I could positively contribute to society as a geoscientist.

Whether it's exploring for oil & gas or developing sustainable energy solutions, geoscientists are the cornerstone to solving today's pressing climate and energy issues.


2014: GeoFORCE 11th Grade Trip, Mount St. Helens, WA

2018: Field camp in Southern Australia during my undergrad at CU Boulder

2019: Presenting my undergrad Honors Thesis at the Geological Society of America Conference

2021: Field work for my master's research in Coos Bay, Oregon

The surprising thing is...

Geoscience is so interdisciplinary! While I'm passionate about energy- geoscience includes earth and mineral resources, hydrogeology, ocean and atmospheric sciences, planetary sciences, environmental and sustainability studies, and so much more!

My Biggest Piece(s) of Advice

  • Form connections! Reach out to potential mentors and people who do what you're interested in and learn about their journey.

  • Be bold! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Introduce yourself to a potential mentor. Send the email.

  • It's not about how much you know, it's about how much you care! Having the right attitude goes a long way.

Contact Me!

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