Initially, Neah Baechler was drawn to the College because of its marine biology program. Then, she took a course in marine geology. That’s when a whole world of new possibilities started opening up. She’s been investing herself in this demanding yet rewarding area of geology ever since.
“I’m the kind of student who prefers spending time in the field, rather than the lab,” Neah explains, “and geology, particularly marine geology, offers those opportunities in abundance. Especially the opportunity to spend time at sea.”
A professor suggested that she get in touch with Prof. Leslie Sautter, who specializes in marine geology at the College. That meeting led Neah to get involved in Sautter’s sea floor mapping project. “This turned out to be an incredible opportunity,” Neah says.
Working as an intern for Sautter, she spent a summer making frequent trips to sea to help monitor the equipment used in mapping the sea floor off coastal South Carolina. And that experience led her to get involved in a different sea floor program the following summer, out of the University of Washington.
“I served as a student aide, meaning I was on board helping monitor the activity of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that we deployed on dives. We had to stand four-hour watches and log everything that happened, all the different life forms that we spotted and whatever the ROV was doing.”
For Neah, this was an ideal experience. “I’m also interested in working with film and we were getting lots of footage from the ROV on that project. I used that to produce some live broadcasts that were used as an education tool for the College’s marine geology class.”
Neah plans to continue researching and learning marine geology. “I can go into the oil industry, or focus on environmental awareness. I’ve always wanted to communicate my excitement about science to others, and this major is preparing me to excel at that.
We offer a B.S. and a B.A. in geology. Along with diverse geological education, we emphasize student research. Students work with faculty on a wide range of topics from seismology to dinosaurs and from planetary geology to marine geology.
With field studies, computer work in GIS and remote sensing and laboratory research in water pollution, our students have the skills and knowledge to confront environmental and geological challenges. Our graduates excel in graduate school and the working world in a variety of proessional roles.
❱❱ Our department hosts NASA’s South Carolina Space Grant Consortium and EPSCOR program, the Lowcountry Hazards Center, the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History and the BEAMS program in marine geology.