I felt like a different person after the Ullapool field trip. It felt like the defining moment of my degree.
When I was young, I was very lucky that we got to travel quite a bit as a family. I spent lots of time walking and exploring and just fell in love with the natural world. When it came to choosing a degree, I chose Geography and Geology because the Earth is pretty much the oldest thing you can study. I thought there’d always be lots to learn because I see studying Geography and Geology like piecing history together to understand where it all began. It’s not just looking at rocks, although I do quite like looking at rocks!
I particularly love studying earthquakes and volcanoes. My favourite part of the course is Earth History, because it covers such a huge period of time, right from the beginning of the solar system. You get to do mapping in the field and computer science, using GiS and aerial photos, as well as looking at natural hazards like asteroid impacts, mass extinctions and volcanic eruptions, which I find fascinating.
I’ve also had the opportunity to go on some great field trips to Tenerife, Scotland, Wales and the Lake District. I was quite apprehensive about fieldwork at the beginning but it was so interactive and fun. Looking back now I can see how important it was for the whole course. I especially loved the trip to Ullapool. We had to map a huge area of difficult terrain in 10 days. It was very hard work and really intense, but I felt like a different person afterwards. It felt like the defining moment of my degree.
Last year I had the chance to work as a Research Assistant to one of the academics in the department, funded by the Student Opportunity Fund. I spent all summer in the lab looking at lake sediment cores to find evidence of past volcanic eruptions – and I couldn’t have been happier. It was so exciting to be part of some genuine research. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do anything like that without the funding from Edge Hill.
Discovering things about yourself is a huge part of being at university. I’ve discovered a level of resilience I didn’t know I had, especially in fieldwork. Even if it’s snowing, you just don’t stop!