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Siobhan McGoldrick talks about first year

A day in the life

Siobhan McGoldrick talks about first year

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You never think about it when you’re just walking over rocks. You just walk over them. But studying them makes you think about them differently.

Field school detective work


Siobhan McGoldrick knew when she started at Dal she would major in Earth Sciences. “It’s fascinating how you can recreate the past and past geological events just by looking at a sequence of strata,” she says. “It’s really cool—almost like detective work.”

And after graduating from Dal, she’s already planning to return to her hometown of Brentwood Bay, BC to do an education degree. “I want to teach earth sciences and French in high school,” she explains. “I really love teaching,” she says. “Back home, I tutored kids of all ages at community centres.”

But for her first degree, she wanted to experience a new city and community. “Halifax is a lot more multicultural than the area where I’m from, which is nice,” she says.

As for her residence community, Siobhan loves it. “I’m in Shirreff Hall,” she says. “It’s so close to everything, and I’m surrounded by people with similar interests—I made friends right off the bat!” she smiles. And she’s on the residence council, helping to organize fun events.

Siobhan also loves the first-year earth sciences labs—especially the one for her Intro to Geology II course. “It was really enjoyable—we built on our skills, and had more time to ask questions,” she says.

“It’s good to have hands-on learning in labs and field trips—I feel like I can learn more,” she adds. She and her classmates went on a winter field trip to the Bay of Fundy.

“It was really cool,” she says. “We saw fossils of tree bark, ripple marks, and some very distinct folds in the rock—it was really dramatic!” Now she’s looking forward to her first field school at the end of summer.

In a lab, the instructor had the students look at samples of sedimentary rocks. “He asked us to think about stacking the rock samples, and about what could be determined about the sea levels or about the climate,” Siobhan says. “It’s possible to construct so many different things just from looking, from the climate to the plants.”