Caroline Doughty is a geological sciences major with a minor in evolutionary studies. A senior from Birmingham, AL, Caroline is passionate about paleontology and hopes to work on climate and environmental issues after graduation.
How did you choose your major? What sparked your interest in the field?
Originally, I was studying biology, with a huge interest in evolution. However, after meeting with a professor who specializes in evolutionary research (Dr. Tobin), I realized paleontology was my passion. Paleontology is one direction a degree in geology can take you; other directions include climate studies, oil and gas, meteorology, mining, engineering, and government. I love the diversity my major provides, and that I have so many options once I graduate.
What do you like about studying geology at UA?
I love how so many sciences and subjects come together in geology. It combines natural history, chemistry, life sciences, and environmental issues. I feel like I’ve been able to get a broad and integrated education through this major.
What are your career goals?
My goal is to work on modern climate/environmental issues. A career in environmental law or consulting would be very rewarding and interesting.
Talk about any career-related experiences you’ve had. How did you find those opportunities?
Professors and faculty send out job and internship opportunities almost every day through the department’s email. One summer, I got to work on a dinosaur dig site that my advisor worked at when she was a student — definitely one of the best college experiences I’ve had.
What surprised you the most about college?
I was surprised by how easy it is to make friends. As soon as I got involved in things that interested me, I found like-minded people with similar interests, and rewarding organic friendships grew from there!
How did you make friends on campus?
Getting involved in service organizations introduced me to a really supportive and positive group of friends. We’ve made a lot of great memories together, from service trips and building houses to concerts and festivals. Volunteering has allowed me to meet so many different kinds of people. Now, I can’t even walk across campus without waving to a familiar face.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Be flexible, know that your passions can change (and I cannot stress this part enough). GET INVOLVED with at least one thing that interests you. It will be one of the most rewarding decisions you can make.
For science students, research positions are a great place to connect with faculty and get valuable skills for post-graduation.