Guest post: Today’s featured blogger is Julie Sophis ’17 – a Geology major and Environmental Studies minor from Whitman, Massachusetts.

There are always some days that are dreary during winter term.  It is just how the weather can be in upstate New York.  One of those gray days hit last week and it reminded me of last winter term.  There are many things that can brighten such a day like a good cup of coffee or a Netflix binge session. However, last winter, it was a great course that did the trick for me.  

The course was Geology 203 – Lakes and Environmental Change.  Like the majority of geology courses, this class had a lab component; but was unique about this course is that our lab had an outdoor component on a frozen lake.  In the simplest terms I can come up with, the objective of the lab was to gather data on the lake water and to take sediment core from the bottom.  In order to accomplish this, we got to spend an afternoon each week drilling holes through the ice to gather the samples.  It might sound crazy to some, but being on a frozen lake doing geology is an amazing way to spend an afternoon during winter term.  I would never switch those freezing cold hours for an indoor lecture, because coming home to tell your roommates that you got to spend your afternoon drilling a lake is simply great.