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Taryn Black's Profile Picture

Taryn Black
Joined ESS in Autumn 2016 (for PhD...Autumn 2009 for BS)
Contact: [javascript protected email address]
Role: Graduate
Undergraduate Program: BS - Earth and Space Sciences: Geology; BS - Physics
Graduate Program: PhD - Earth and Space Sciences
Lab Postion: N/A
Staff Position: N/A
Hometown: Monroe, WA
Prior Institutions: University of Washington (BS '13), Georgia Institute of Technology (MS '16)
Research Area: Glaciology
Classes Taught: ESS 101 (Introduction to Geology); ESS 213 (Evolution of the Earth)
Favorite Class: There have been so many! In the past few years, probably Great Geological Issues (ESS 508/408) - I loved reading and discussing early geology works and learning about how the foundational concepts of geology were developed and debated.
Favorite Spot: There are a lot of lovely patches of waterfront in far-flung parts of campus - lately I've been enjoying the Union Bay Area (way northeast of main campus).

How did you "land" in ESS?
I was more interested in animals as a kid, but my eighth grade science teacher got me excited about the physical sciences. Then my high school chemistry teacher had a passion for geology - I distinctly remember him explaining how the Hawaiian islands formed and being fascinated. When I started college at UW I signed up for ESS 101 to learn a bit more about geology. I was immediately hooked (Terry Swanson wins over another student!); I think I declared my major in my third week of college! Fast forward several years: I worked on my MS and wanted to transition to glaciology research for a PhD. I looked at a ton of programs and realized that one of the best fits for my interests was back at good ol' ESS.

What is something that you surprised you about our community?
I can't decide between the camaraderie, supportive environment, and innumerable traditions, but I think there's a common thread through all of those!

What has been your favorite part of the ESS department so far?
People here love what they do and are excited to talk with you about it. I can't count how many times I've been in the hallway, office hours, or after hours and hurtled deep into conceptual minutiae and grand speculation.

What are your future plans?
Pass my general exam! Beyond the PhD? I really love the work I'm doing and could see myself following the postdoc-to-professor route, but I'm also trying to keep my options open outside of academia. Glaciers aside, I enjoy image and data analysis, GIS, and programming aspects of my work and there are definitely many interesting opportunities to use those in other fields.

Do you have any advice for new ESS community members?
Don't be afraid to reach out to peers, faculty, and staff for help and advice! Also, Washington is a geological and recreational playground (and you can get cheap gear rentals from the IMA) - get out there!