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STATE Your Major: Geology And Environmental Health

Did you know Illinois State University has over 165 majors to choose from, #FutureRedbird? In this edition of STATE Your Major, we sat down with senior geology and environmental health student, Ali, to discuss her two fields of study!

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Sidney Weth

Q: What made you decide on that major?

A: Deciding on a major took a lot of trial and error! I’ve always liked science classes and the outdoors, but never knew what kind of career I wanted when I grew up. I started as an environmental health major and with that major mostly complete, I decided it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to, so I added geology as a second major.

Q: What are some of the major courses that you have or are currently enrolled in?

A: I am currently taking pollution prevention and epidemiology for my environmental health major. These classes discuss how to reduce energy consumption and the spreading of diseases. For my geology major, I am taking paleontology, petrology, stratigraphy, and an area study class of Texas.

Paleontology is the study of fossils, petrology is the study of mineral formation, and stratigraphy is the study of order and position in the geologic time scale. The area study class is a general overview of the rock types and land formations of the Big Bend National Park area of Texas.

Q: What is something that most people may not know about your major?

A: Geology is important for everyday life. Look around at buildings, streets, and sidewalks; they all require natural resources and rocks. Geology can also include areas of study, like oil and gas or groundwater, which all play major roles in how society functions.

Sidney Weth

Q: What do you like about the ISU faculty that teaches your major classes?

A: Both the geology and environmental health majors are so small that each student gets individual attention. One of my favorite things about the faculty is that they are always willing to help and provide career building opportunities.

Q: Are you involved in a related RSO or club outside of your major classes?

A: When I find free time, I try to participate in the geology club and student environmental health association (SEHA).

Sidney Weth

Q: What is your favorite part about the major?

A: My favorite part of the geology major is the chance to do so much fieldwork, also known as fieldtrips! The core classes of geology include field trips to provide a real world experience. Most of the classes go to surrounding states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri, but certain classes go to Texas, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Q: What careers do students go into after graduating from your major? What would you like to do after graduation?

A: Most students go on to work in the oil/gas industry, exploration geology, or doing environmental consulting. It is common for students to continue to graduate school to focus on a specific area of study. I am still trying to decide what to do after graduation, but right now I plan to focus on environmental consulting.

Sidney Weth

Q: What is your advice for incoming freshmen joining your major? What is your advice to students that are coming in undecided?

A: My advice to incoming freshmen joining geology is to enjoy every second in the department! It is such a small department so you will become close with everyone. My advice to incoming undecided students is to try whatever interests you! If you try something and don’t like it, at least you know and don’t have regrets of missed opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about the geology and environmental health majors at ISU, check out our geology and environmental health websites. Make sure to keep a look out for our next edition of STATE Your Major #FutureRedbird!

Lastly, if you would like your plan of study to be featured on STATE Your Major, feel free to comment below!

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