When I left school, I thought geology was all about the film character Indiana Jones finding fossils, licking rocks to identify them and walking around with a rock hammer. I enrolled in a geology subject at university and soon found out how wrong I was! An engaging lecturer showed us how being a geologist is really just like being a detective investigating the Earth’s history. A rock can tell a story of the Earth’s evolution, what the climate and temperature was like in the past. I soon found I was rather too eager to get up for 8am lectures. It wasn’t until my third year that I found out that I could combine my love of maths and geology into a subject called Geophysics.
I graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience and Honours in Geophysics. My Honours project utilised two geophysical survey techniques, Magnetotellurics and Airborne Electromagnetics to image the layers of the Earth to a depth of 50 kilometres to look for potential uranium mineralisation. This is like using a magnet to work out which piece of a Christmas pudding (or layers of the Earth) has the most pennies (uranium) in it, without actually cutting it.
Geoscience Australia Graduate Program is an opportunity to get involved in applied research while also considering the environmental and social aspects of the research. The graduate program provides a good opportunity to rotate between different divisions, exploring areas that you have little experience in, and therefore gaining an understanding of the breadth of the agency’s work. The agency also looks to equip graduates with the skills to communicate your science clearly to a variety of audiences.
During my graduate rotations, I hope to find out how geophysics can be applied to a range of topics including natural hazards, groundwater and energy, and not just mineral exploration.