Name: Craig Hill
Where are you from and where are you living now: Sycamore, Illinois, now living in Minneapolis, MN
When did you graduate from the University of St. Thomas: 2005
What was your major(s) and minor(s): Geology
What, if any, research did you conduct during your undergraduate career: I spent a J-term with Kevin Theissen and Maggie (Kendall) Zimmerman in Southern Chile and Argentina collecting lake sediment cores to study the paleoclimate of Patagonia and the surrounding region.
What are you doing now: I work for St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL), an Environmental/Civil Engineering and Geoscience Lab associated with the University of Minnesota. It also houses the National Center for Earth Surface Dynamics (NCED). I think my job is great. I get to take part in all sorts of river restoration research projects, hydraulic structure modeling projects, and geomorphic studies at the lab, and basically get to play and get dirty every day. In addition to this, I take graduate classes part-time for a Masters in Civil Engineering and am just about to finish a Stream Restoration Science and Engineering Certificate program offered through NCED.
What has been the most fun/enjoyable/fulfilling experience have you been able to do with your degree in geology? Least? Why?: I’ve had several experiences that were great and a result of my degree in geology. As an undergraduate, I was able to study abroad in New Zealand for a semester and travel to South America for research. After I graduated, I had an internship in Alaska that involved flying around much of the southwestern portion of the state in a helicopter searching for gold. For my current job, I was able to go check out the geology of eastern Spain. Basically it’s given me the opportunity to get outside and see a lot of cool places.
Any other notable experiences you’ve been able to participate in because of your degree: I doubt I would have the job I have now if it weren’t for my geology degree and the connections I made through my professors at UST. Because of it, I’ve been able to be a part of several documentaries on the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, and History Channel. Topics have included meteor impacts, volcanism and subduction zones, tsunamis, the flooding of the Black Sea, and the formation of the English Channel.
Do you have any advice for budding geologist and/or upcoming graduates on working in the geoscience field: Don’t feel like you have to jump directly into graduate school right away. There is plenty of time, and I was glad to get a bit of experience and find out things that I knew I definitely didn’t want to do. It allowed me to realize what I was really interested in and then pursue that.
If you would like to contact Craig Hill about what he has done and is currently doing, you can contact him via email at email@example.com or by phone at 612-624-4319 (work number).
If you are interested in participating in this survey, please contact the Geology Department Lab Coordinator, Erik Smith, at: firstname.lastname@example.org