My Research in Geology Essay

Disciplinary Awareness

“The research I did this summer focused on sorption of caesium and strontium by soils. These two chemicals
are commonly found in chemical contaminants. My research also focused on the distribution coefficient
which is a measurement of how much of a solvent is [absorbed] by a geologic medium.”
“I found that many of the readings I came across regarding abortion seemed to convey a strong belief in
human rights, which was demonstrated by the dichotomy of “pro-choice” versus “pro-life” beliefs. Both of
these stances entail issues surrounding a woman’s right to choose when to give birth as well as a fetus’s right
to live, which fall under the realm of reproductive rights.”
“The Attorney General can have an impact on public policy when he issues opinions on the legality or
constitutionality of proposed or enacted laws. Attorney General Abbott discussed how he established a Cyber
Crimes Unit, a Fugitive Unit, and expanded the Medical Fraud Control Unit. He also discussed how he
appeared before the Supreme Court in order to defend the constitutionality of the 10 Commandments displayed
on the Texas Capital grounds… The Attorney General can become involved with high-profile public policy,
which can leave the office in the public eye.”

Interdisciplinary Awareness

“To understand how a contaminant moves through the soil, you have to understand geology, mineralogy,
environmental engineering, and a little bit of nuclear chemistry. If I did not research the
mineralogy of my soil sample, I would not have understood what was absorbing the caesium and strontium
ions. If I didn’t know some about nuclear chemistry, I would have not understood radioactive liquid
tracers that are used to measure distribution coefficients. The engineering work comes into play in
designing and implicating experiments with the implementation of a solution method after.”
“While I was reading about abortion policies, I was able to apply a government and international
perspective to my research. I also visited health clinics which allowed me to view this issue from a
healthcare perspective as well as a social work perspective by witnessing the effects and
implementation of governmental policies. Finally, in reflecting on my experience, I was able to apply a
women’s studies perspective that reflected patriarchal ideals which makes accessing healthcare difficult
for some women.”

“Journalism played a role in my research because I had to go through many news articles to find relevant
materials for my research… Social Justice is a very important part of my research, and I found out through
this connecting experience that there are many organizations dedicated to the cause of Social Justice and they
employ the same scientific methods in seeking out the truth… I learned that most things involve multiple
disciplines like my research. For example, for politics to reach the people, the media has to first organize
the information in ways that the people can understand.”

Interdisciplinary Comparison

“A difference that can be observed between different disciplines is their purpose. The environmental side is trying
to keep the planet clean and sustainable. The purpose of economics (there are many depending on which
side one looks from) can be seen as the study of human behaviour and consumer habits with respect
to monetary values. Despite the differences between the two subjects they intersect since policies tend to
depend on economics. A common underlying similarity between disciplines is the expansive nature of
things. No discipline is one-sided, there is always more to what it seems. They all analyze concepts and come
to a conclusion, which can be influenced by their moral purpose.”

“The most striking realization I came to was that sociology and psychology relate to each other in more
complex ways than I had thought. Previously, I built on the analogy of the natural sciences to think of
sociology as the emergent outcome of psychology, as biology arises from chemistry, which itself comes
from physics. However, in Spain, I realized this is an oversimplification. Psychology, identity, and (therefore)
action, are constructed through relationships with existing social structures. Since we are born into
societies with existing power and normative relationships, sociology influences psychology very strongly.”
“Through this research, I saw the connection these three topics had with each other. One aspect of politics
is the process of making laws, and laws can be made to ensure Social Justice. In the case of my research,
one of the bills I was researching was about putting regulations on the payday industry and the industry was
giving a lot of campaign contributions to stop this bill.”

Transfer of Knowledge and Skills

“I have some basic coursework in geology which gave me a broad introduction to some of the mineralogy
work I performed. My chemical engineering coursework in transport phenomena also gave me some
background information in liquid and solid movement.”

“I found that I was also well versed in women’s reproductive health issues, such as pregnancy, contraceptives,
and pregnancy because I had just taken a Women’s Reproductive Health course the previous semester that
focused on the sociological and biological perspectives of these issues. Because I had this background, I felt that
I had a strong foundation regarding these issues as I began my research which allowed for a further
understanding of these subjects.”

“Knowledge I have gained in previous experiences and courses affected the way I understood my connecting
experience with Consumer Protection Division. Previously, I interned with the city government and a majority of
my work involved Internet research. I learned how to summarize the research, pull out the important points,
and present it to my supervisor. All of these skills transferred to my experience with CPD and were further
developed with my research on Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA).”