February 14, 2009

Review: Third Semester Finished

I had some really busy weeks but I wrote my last two exams yesterday and now I have finished my third semester. Having passed half the way to my bachelor degree, it's time to keep myself busy with writing applications for my upcoming internship in summer. However, I also gonna have a lot of free time during the next four weeks and I really need some moments of recreation because my own battery has become quite empty.

Today, I want to look back on what I have learned this semester and what courses I consider to be interesting or rather not.

The most interesting but also the most time-consuming course was sedimentology because I spent most of my time on preparing and finishing weekly homework for this course which included drawing maps, describing and naming rocks and sedimentary structures, evaluating experiments and calculating. All in all, sedimentology was a challenging course but I have learned a lot about mass movements, depositional systems and sedimentary structures that I will definitely need many many times.

At the beginning, I didn't like stratigraphy at all because I lacked an understanding of its importance for all geological sciences. At the end of the semester, it became one of my favourite courses. I just needed the impression of how several disciplines of stratigraphy like magnetostratigraphy, event stratigraphy and biostratigraphy correspond with each other so that you get the information you want. Especially graphic correlation and sequence stratigraphy became two of my favourites.

Hydrogeology is something you should have heard of but nothing more (unless you want to become a hydrogeologist). Although I have learned quite a lot about groundwater movement, aquifers and water wells, I don't consider this knowledge to be of any (greater) importance later on. The sad thing is that there will be a second hydrogeology course next semester and this one will be about geochemistry which leads me to the next course.

Before the beginning of the semester, I was a bit in fear of geochemistry because I hadn't had any chemistry lesson since grade eleven. Fortunately, the first two parts of this course were really interesting and way better than I had expected them to be. They dealed with the origin of the universe, our solar systems and our planet as well as with Earth's chemical composition und internal structure. However, the third part was as horrible as I remember chemistry from school. It was about chemical alteration, chemical equilibria and reaction equations. This is definitely not my cup of tea!

Petrology & Microscopy of Magmatites:
This course was split into a lecture about petrology of magmatites in the first half of the semester and a tutorial on microscopy of magmatites in the second half.
The petrology part was not that interesting because we mainly dealed with ternary phase diagrams and melts in general. This stuff is just too theoretical to be interesting.
The microscope part was much more interesting because I was able to deepen the knowledge I had gained during the second semester petrographic microscopy course. My favourite moment was when we looked for small zircon crystals in biotite. They look like these (not by me):

Geological Mapping & Geological Profiles:
I don't have much to say about this course. We did quite a lot about the construction of geological profiles from geological maps and it was fun (in my eyes only) but our tutor told us that all this stuff was so theoretical and simplified that we wouldn't need it anymore. Reality is much more difficult and then we must not use most of the rather easy techniques we have learned. In four weeks from now, I will see how much this course really helps in real life on my first mapping field trip.


franzi88 said...

well done!
i bet you are really proud of yourself, half way through, thats not bad man.

do you know what kind of internship you want to go for?
i'm an intern in the museum of natural history in berlin =)
i work in dinosaur research

Maple Leaf said...

Thanks. But half the way also means that there is still to go the other half of the way. ;-)

For my internship, I want to do something in the sector of hydrocarbon exploration. So, probably I´m going to apply to some big energy/crude oil companies.