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Careers: Alumni Profiles

Brooks R. Dillard '99

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR?

"I took an Intro to Geology class with Professor Davis Young to fulfill one of my core classes and immediately took interest. The class caused me to remember how much I had enjoyed Earth Science in 8th grade....After confirming my interest by taking and enjoying Historical Geology with Ralph Stearley, I made the full transition to majoring in geology. I already had a love for the outdoors and had spent lots of time backpacking and hiking, and the geology major provided the opportunity for me to explore the Earth on a different level.

MEMORIES OF CALVIN

  • "The care, patience, and attentiveness of Ralph Stearley and Davis Young as I spent many hours in their offices discussing views concerning origins. The fact that they wanted me to dig, to learn for myself and study, instead of imposing their own views..."
  • Historical Geology lectures that "made 45 minutes seem like 5."
  • "I'll never forget the time that I was TA during a Historical Geology field trip to a local gravel mine and was trying to take picture with the digital camera. The place where I was standing had originally appeared stable, but the surface material gave way, and I sunk knee-deep into a coarse-grained sludge pool. After all the students finished laughing at me, one of them decided to test the same area and ended up sinking in themselves..."
  • Trip to Toronto for the GSA (Geological Society of America) meeting
  • Post-commencement trip to the Adirondack Mountains: "I still have lots of rocks from that trip..."

WHAT AT CALVIN PREPARED YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?

"The labs for each of my geology classes were helpful, and in general, Calvin did well at preparing me to think scientifically. I wish I had developed better scientific writing skills at Calvin."

LIFE AFTER CALVIN

Summer internship at JE Fuller Hydrology and Geomorphology, Inc which eventually turned into a full-time position.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?

"I am currently working as a geologist and engineer in-training for the Environmental Services department of Brown and Caldwell, located in Phoenix, AZ. I'm working in the mining group, getting involved in lots of mine-related projects from remediation and reclamation to coring and surficial geologic mapping. My 6.5 years of experience at JE Fuller Hydrology have allowed me to contribute in other areas of the Environmental Services department as well; geomorphology and surface water hydrology projects, among others.

I sold my website design business, but am still maintaining some design hobbies on the side, one of which is the slightly profitable, but really enjoyable, the YupRocks website ( http://www.yuprocks.com). The site receives over 1000 individual visitors each day from around the world, so it's nice to know there are other people out there that enjoy the pictures as much as I do."

ADVICE TO CURRENT STUDENTS

"Be willing to make trips on your own dime to meet with Grad school professors or potential employers—the extra effort and face to face interaction will go a long, long way. Start emailing/calling grad school professors ahead of time and communicate to them your interests in order to start a dialog to find out ways you could work together. Talk to every 'geology contact' you have to open doors for solid employment in the field of geology."

Major/minor

Geology

Career tags

mining, geological mapping, engineering

Contact

mountainbuilder@gmail.com