Our very own Shirley was not the only one who completed the Bachelor of Global and Ocean Sciences with a University Medal. Here is a little something from Rowan Romeyn about his experience that lead to his distinguished award:

“I was attracted to Earth Science through a fascination with natural environments and a curiosity for the processes that form these environments. Exploring new places and environments is an enduring passion of mine and through my earth science studies I have an even greater appreciation of the astonishing natural phenomena that abound around the world.

The ANU’s Bachelor of Global & Ocean Science was a great fit for me as I’d developed a keen interest in the physical sciences during Year 12 and the flexible course program allowed me to pursue these interests. My study across the mathematics, physics and chemistry schools at ANU was really valuable and informed my approach to solving problems encountered in geology and earth science courses. One of the perks of studying the earth sciences is the field trips, which you don’t tend to get in maths, physics and chemistry. Receiving lectures on a beach and finding evidence that glaciers used to cover a sizeable part of Australia were great experiences.

I found my honours year project by speaking with one of my lecturers after really enjoying the topics they were lecturing. My project involved imaging 3D rock samples, at very high resolution, as a potential method to determine their suitability for underground storage of CO2. The imaging process, known as tomography (similar to medical CAT scanning), involved shooting x-rays through the samples through a range of orientations. Following some mathematical wizardry, the x-ray images are used to form 3D images that allow the grains and pores within the sample to be studied. I used this technique to investigate physical and chemical changes that are caused by the injection of CO2 into different reservoir rocks.

For new students, I think it is important to remember that the study of earth science involves the application of a broad range of the fundamental sciences: biology, maths, physics & chemistry. If you have the opportunity to study the fundamental sciences you will often find that the things you learn can be applied to all sorts of things in the earth sciences and can give you a different perspective that might help unravel the trickiest of problems. If you enjoy studying science and are curiosity about things like the weather, climate, land, oceans etc. then earth science can be a fascinating and rewarding area of study.”