Alison Campion, 2016, Geosciences

I spent the summer assisting a geoscience graduate student collect rock samples in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The samples we collected formed 2.7 billion years ago and contain magnetic minerals that recorded the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field at the time of formation, which can be correlated with the latitude at which the rock formed. Using this technique, we will be able to model how the Australian continental plate was moving during the Archaean, a time period in which scientists are unsure how a warmer mantle would influence plate movement. I was not only able to spend my summer hiking and camping in beautiful Western Australia, but I was also able to work closely with professors and graduate students, which was an incredible experience. I learned how to conduct geological field research, how to interpret detailed observations to better understand the natural world, how to read geological maps, and how to overcome unexpected challenges in the field all of which will be invaluable when it comes time for me to conduct my own research in the geosciences department for my junior papers and senior thesis.