Generally, a statement of purpose is more formal and focuses on academic and professional experiences to exhibit how a candidate will thrive during and beyond a graduate program. This requires more research regarding the program and less about your personality, triumphs, and obstacles.
I am an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University-Idaho and will graduate with a B.S. in Geology in April 2012. I am applying to begin a PhD graduate program in Fall 2012. My research interests, abilities, and professional goals would be a great asset to the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona.
My interests lie in geodynamics and modelling. Many questions in geology can be approached from a modelling perspective. I intend to explore how physical experimentation, field data, and mathematical models complement one another to answer geologic questions. Although I have broad interests, at the University of Arizona I want to study physical processes involved in the magma chamber and eruption dynamics as well as thermal convection and its role in plate tectonics.
I am interested in combining geology with concepts from physics, chemistry, and mathematics to address geologic questions. I am particularly interested in how mathematics can be used as a tool to explore earth processes, to predict how dynamic systems will behave, and gain perspective on unobservable processes. Nothing is more satisfying to me than creating a working model.
Research goals that I have aligned with the interests of Dr Brian Waters and Dr. Patricia Leonard. Several of their projects fit well with my interests and professional intentions, and I look forward to developing potential projects with them. Dr Waters and I have been in contact through email and at the AGU Fall meeting about potential projects. I am excited about the scope of his research, and it would be a privilege to be mentored by him.
Graduate studies at the University of Arizona will complement my multi-disciplinary approach to modelling geologic problems. In addition to the exceptional facilities of the Department of Geosciences, I plan to take advantage of the resources available in the Computational and Applied Mathematics department as support for validating and testing research models. As a doctoral candidate, I intend to build professional relationships with colleagues across various universities in several academic disciplines. A PhD from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona will serve as the beginning of a successful academic career.