Grad profile: Fergus Tweedale, Earth Sciences
Rebecca Schneidereit - October 3, 2012
Every spring and fall, we profile just a few of our amazing graduates in our Convocation handout. We proudly feature these stories here on Dal News. Congrats to all our new graduates!
Fergus Tweedale likes to venture off the beaten path.
After graduating from high school in British Columbia, he worked as a tree planter for eight years before one day deciding to enrol in university.
“I had poor language skills coming out of high school. I started reading more after high school and realized I wasn’t very good at it… I wanted to challenge myself academically,” he explains. “I was looking for something different… I looked at a map and saw Halifax.”
At Dalhousie, Tweedale started out studying English, but a first-year elective class in geology quickly diverted his attention.
“Within two weeks of studying rocks, I was really captivated by it,” he says. “Looking at rocks through a microscope was a life-altering experience… if I had the experience of looking at rocks under a light microscope in high school, I would have known that earth sciences was for me.” He declared a major in Earth Sciences and hasn’t looked back since.
His Dalhousie highlights include running on the Dal cross country team for two years, and a two-week honours field trip camping in Nevada. Now he’s graduating with a bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences, and pursuing graduate studies in the Geology Department at Saint Mary’s University.
“What earth science boils down to is understanding the history of the planet,” he explains. “Where did the rocks come from, and how did they get where they are?”
Something of the English student is still evident in Tweedale – he speaks about the beautiful colours of rocks in poetic terms and appreciates the creativity afforded by his field of choice.
“A person can take a very individual approach to understand earth sciences.” Tweedale hopes eventually to pursue a career as a geologist, and the sky’s the limit.
“It’s not only limited to our planet. The moon is a big chunk of rock.”