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Chelsea MacKaman-Lofland's Profile Picture

Chelsea MacKaman-Lofland
Bachelor Of Science - Earth And Space Sciences
Class of 2012
Summa
Email: chelsm42@utexas.edu

What made you decide to get into geosciences?
I’ve been set on becoming a geologist since I was four or five, when my family bought me an Eyewitness: Earth book. The book’s pictures of mountain ranges and other earth features – with accompanying geologic descriptions – completely captivated me. When I learned that the scientists shown in the photographs made a career of traveling the world to study how the earth produced such enthralling features, I knew I had to become a geologist. I continued to be interested in physical science through junior high and high school, and my undergraduate experience in the UW ESS department (including my undergraduate research, related field work, classes, interactions with instructors, field trips, etc.) strongly reinforced my early decision to pursue a career in geology.

What was your favorite part of the department?
Field camp! On campus: the department faculty, graduate students/TAs, and other undergrads were extremely helpful and influential during my time in the department, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support. I loved my undergraduate research experience. The department field trips were also excellent (particularly Dr. Cowan’s structures trip to Death Valley).

What are you doing now?
PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin, supervised by Dr. Brian Horton. My research focuses on the structural and tectonic evolution of contractional mountain belts. I use a combination of structural geology, sedimentary basin analysis, and thermochronometry to evaluate deformation events in the Argentine Andes.

Any advice for our current students?
Get involved in research as soon as you can – freshman/sophomore year definitely isn’t too early. Whatever your long-term goals are, undergraduate research is an incredible opportunity to contribute to the cutting edge work that is going on in the department, and will help you build your own (highly applicable) hands-on skill set. Talk to your instructors about their research and ask about possible undergrad opportunities, apply through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, etc.

Additional Contact Information
For sure! Email: chelsm42@utexas.edu