Bachelor of Science - Earth and Space Science: Physics
Class of 2017
Cum Laude with Departmental Honors
What made you decide to get into geosciences?
It was a mixture of serendipity and curiosity, aided by an affinity for the sciences that lead me to the geosciences. A full-ride scholarship from an international oil and gas company to pursue geophysics as I finished high school in Malaysia, was the genesis of my association with Earth sciences. Since then, the broad and awe-inspiring scope of ESS and the opportunities and resources to pursue curiosity based inquires has cemented my fascination with the geosciences.
What was your favorite part of the ESS department?
The welcoming nature of the department and its ability to nurture budding geoscientists. The department hosts faculty and staff that are very supportive, approachable and invested in ensuring students development, enthusiastic peers, and the resources to allow students to develop a wide range of skills and obtain a wholesome undergraduate experience.
What are you doing now?
I am a PhD student in the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University where I specialize in studying the deep interiors of Earth and other planetary bodies using magnetic field observations and simulations. I have worked on understanding the short time scale variability in Earth’s magnetic field using a magnetic field data from a constellation of communication satellites, and am currently working on getting a better view of Mercury’s magnetic field and interior structure. I am also a Johns Hopkins Teaching Academy fellow with a keen interest in geoscience education and improving diversity and inclusivity within the geosciences.
How has your ESS degree informed your current work?
My time at ESS allowed me to explore my interests in academia through a variety of classes and seminars in the department. My interest in the ever-changing nature of Earth’s magnetic field developed in ESS 101 and led to an independent research project, under the guidance of Dr. Terry Swanson and aid from the Mary Gates Research scholarship, taught me the intricacies of research. I learnt different research methodologies and harnessed grant writing and collaboration skills, all of which have been integral in ensuring a successful application to the NASA FINESST award for my project on Mercury and providing stress-free transition to graduate life in general. The ESS degree also introduced me to the foundational science, key skills, and scientific network necessary in having a successful academic career. My interest in pedagogy and inclusivity in the geosciences was further encouraged through the opportunity to be an undergraduate teaching assistant in the department and my involvement in the honors program.
What kind of training or skills would you recommend to ESS students who are considering a similar career path?
For a successful career in graduate school, it is important to 1) be curious and have the courage to pursue one’s curiosity and find the support and resources necessary, 2) have a solid footing in the foundational courses, 3) have some experience in research and collaborative work be it in a lab or out in the field, 4) be proficient in, or have the will and dedication to learn coding (MATLAB, python, etc.). I also believe that it helps to nurture good communication and networking skills as science is a collaborative effort that depends on effective and efficient communication.
Any advice for our current students?
My advice would be to get involved in various capacities within the department, and larger UW community to enrich your Husky experience as much as possible. Have fun, look out for and pursue opportunities, explore, be curious, create your network of peers, and do not hesitate to reach out to faculty, staff, fellow students and resources set up to ensure your success.
Additional Contact Information
I am willing to be contacted by students. They can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReguSphere or on Insta @planetreguang.