Katherine Leigh Herr
Bachelor Of Science - Earth And Space Sciences: Geology
Class of 2013
What made you decide to get into geosciences?
I was originally a pre-engineering student who took the advice of a wise civil engineer. He suggested I seek out coursework in fields that are complementary to civil engineering to make me a more versatile engineer in the long-run. I took Physical Processes of the Earth (ESS 211) with Darrel Cowen and John Stone and loved it. It was the first class that I took at the UW that I was really excited about, so I figured ESS was where I needed to be! The department community kept me engaged both academically and socially throughout my undergraduate career with opportunities to: attend academic field trips (Death Valley, Hawaii, the American Southwest, Southwestern Montana, and various places of geologic interest in the state of Washington), take part in undergraduate research, attend academic conferences, be an undergraduate teaching assistant , take part in department-wide social events like the holiday party and spring BBQ The professors are really what make the program - they are laid back, fun-loving, adventurous, and always approachable, all while teaching rigorous courses and doing world-class science!
What was your favorite part of the department?
My favorite part about the major was the necessity for outdoor work and exploration. I loved the coursework, but you really learn when you are out in the field and nothing looks like the idealized examples in the textbooks. All the field trip opportunities were fantastic, but the best and most necessary applied work was the six-week field mapping course. I loved applying the coursework I had been studying just as much as I loved working outdoors!
What are you doing now?
After graduating from the UW, I completed a Masters in Geoengineering at UC Berkeley. My background in geology lent me a unique perspective and skill set in this civil engineering program. I am currently working for Fugro Consultants, Inc., an international geotechnical engineering consulting firm. I am a Senior Staff Engineer in the onshore geotechnical group in Oakland, CA. My goal is to become a licensed professional geologist (PG) and licensed professional civil engineer (PE).
Additional Contact Information
Yes, feel free to email me!