One of Lauren Tooley's favourite memories of her BSc in Geology is remote field camps in Central Otago — “no cellphone coverage, no distractions, just you and nature. That was cool.”
Lauren's interest in geology was sparked at school in New Plymouth, learning about Mount Taranaki, volcanoes and plate tectonics.
With a Frontiers of Science scholarship and a local Taranaki scholarship, she chose Otago to study Geology, with Maths as a minor.
While Lauren knew what she wanted to study, her friends' experiences lead her to advise uncertain first-year students to take a variety of papers in case they find they want to change course.
She also recommends making the most of the Unipol Recreation Centre, from the free gym to a large range of services and activities – Lauren played football, cycled, and ran for fun.
Lauren loves studying Geology, from the department's historic location to the practical work. “Such beautiful old buildings make you feel you're studying somewhere really professional, and doing lab work every week with approachable professors makes learning a lot easier.”
Last year she started demonstrating for younger undergraduates and presented a poster chosen to represent a class research project at the Geoscience Society of New Zealand conference in Wellington.
She's continuing the project on ice deformation for her honours year. “I really, really like it because it uses quite a bit of maths and combines a lot of geological theory with practical work.
“Once I see how the research goes I'll be able to decide if research is really for me or not, and I can consider whether to go for a master's or PhD, or go into industry.”
Lauren has already had a taste of the real world, working as a summer intern at Shell Todd Oil Services in New Plymouth.
“I had to do a project that involved reading a lot of academic literature and applying it. All of the work I had done at Otago thoroughly prepared me for that.”