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Meet Emily N. Carey

Emily N. Carey, Drexel Geoscience Major

Degree: BS Geoscience ’20 (Applied Geology concentration), minor in Computer Science
Research Interests: Geochemistry, petrology, volcanology and machine learning
- Database Steward, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
- Volcanology Lab Assistant (Vanderkluysen Lab), Drexel University
- Geotechnical Engineering Assistant, Langan Engineering
Extracurricular activities: Vice President of the Paleontology and Geology Club
Awards: A.J. Drexel Scholarship

Have you had any travel experiences through Drexel?

My second co-op gave me the opportunity to travel to Indonesia for field research with Dr. Vanderkluysen and his graduate students, Dani and Christine. This was my first real experience with field research in geology. The month-long excursion involved seeing so many different parts of Indonesian culture — from northern Sumatra to eastern Java and the food that went alongside it (all equally delicious). I loved getting to know the Indonesian college students who worked on the project alongside us, and learning the similarities and differences between our lives and our respective geology programs. They are people who I still keep in touch with and will continue to stay in contact with, both personally and professionally. Working on Mount Sinabung and Kawah Ijen — seeing the beauty of these volcanic landscapes while understanding the sheer power these entities possess — was awe-inspiring. The trip was something that I will never forget.

Tell us more about your co-op experiences.

Emily N. Carey

My co-ops have been some of my favorite experiences at Drexel. My first co-op led me to my computer science minor. After working extensively with databases at the Academy, I realized the strong relationship between geology and computer science, and how few people work on both. I had two absolutely wonderful supervisors who encouraged me to pursue the things that interested me the most. They allowed me to diversify my skills and expand my areas of expertise beyond the initial job description.

Getting to travel and do fieldwork for my second co-op was rewarding both personally and academically. Having the opportunity to understand a vastly different culture and learning the field skills necessary for a geologist made it something I will never forget.

For my last co-op, I am excited to move from a more academic setting and apply my skills to an industry job. I am happy that I will be able to see so many different sides of geology from my different co-ops. I look forward to this upcoming co-op as another adventure through which I get to learn and grow, and come closer to figuring out what I want to do with my degree.

What kind of research are you interested in?

I hope to be able to apply the computer science skills that I have developed through my minor to further the ways in which geologists analyze data. Currently, I am working alongside Dr. Vanderkluysen to create algorithms that will help classify different rock geochemistries. In the future, I hope to create databases and software that can further geologic research occurring around the world.

What is one thing a faculty member has told you that stuck with you?

One of my very wise professors once told me that “academia is something you only go into if in your heart you know that you could not be happy doing anything else.” The concept of this need to be at the forefront of knowledge is something that I really identify with, and while I’m still not sure exactly what I want to do with my life, that idea has stuck with me.

What is the coolest thing you can do at the Academy?

Getting lost in the collections in the back of the Academy is always interesting. Some of my favorite things I’ve seen about have been a narwhal tusk, the diatom collections, and the ichthyosaur in the vertebrate paleontology collection. It is like a maze back there, and you never know what you are going to see!

Why would you recommend the BEES program at Drexel for undergraduates?

The best thing about our department is the small size. I enjoy going to such a big school with so many resources while still personally getting to know all of my professors. Knowing all of your professors and what they research makes it easy to go up to them and ask if you can do research with them, whether it be something they’re already working on or an idea of your own. Being able to start researching early on really opens a lot of learning opportunities.

This small size also allows the students in the department to be very close. Getting to meet wonderful upperclassmen like Nick Barber and Kelly Rozanitis early on in my Drexel career helped me more than I could express. The ability for all of us to work together and foster a team atmosphere makes classes less intimidating and more of a cooperative experience.