What’s in a Masters Degree in Geology?

I’m in Moab, Utah.  It’s 104 F.  I’m sticky.   My feet and hands are a rustic sunburned orange-ish red.  My mother blames it on all the carrots, but it’s the dirt.    It makes beaches of orange quartz on my pillow, and in my sleeping bag.


I will never live on Geostar Drive.

I probably stink, but that really depends on your standards.  I’d say the deodorant in my glovebox works magic, but you would have to ask the person sitting next to me at the cafe.   Swimming in bodies of water count as showers, right?

By that rule, I definitely showered two days ago in Zion, UT.  Before that we were looking at rocks near Ely, Nevada, driving through ghostly boomtowns and attempting to camp in Great Basin National Park (because it didn’t really work out).   Days before we slept through a blizzard in Northern California, which neither of us really expected, but when you have your whole life in your car, I guess you’re kind of ready for anything.


Sand Dunes in Nevada

This 2 week hiatus-roadrip is the calm rest preceding my fieldwork for my Master’s Degree in Geology.  My fellow graduate student and soon to be field assistant, Natasha, and I are on our way to the North Cascades of Washington to do 6 weeks of  fieldwork.  Hike, look at rocks, hike, camp, eat, look at rocks.

On the 11th of June, we moved out of our house in San Jose, wedged all our possessions into my truck, and heading north for Lassen volcanic National park.   On our way to Washington, we digressed eastward through Utah, and Colorado, but I swear, we’ll be in Washington in about a week to start work….


Mt Lassen:  “Hello, Oolin’s nasty feet”


Hot as balls, but still time to make breakfast from the tailgate in a scorching parking lot in Zion.

I wanted to start  writing about what it entails to get a Master’s Degree in Geology, or at least my experiecne, because I see my friends and other members of this generation considering Higher Higher-Education.  As we all become overeducated nit-wits, I want to be a resource to others considering a path similar to my own.

So here is a little bit about my program:

School: San Jose State University

Degree: M.S. Geology

Start: August 2016

End: August 2018, Hopefully.


OOLIN | Moab, UT


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