I have never been to Disneyland, but I’ve hiked 50 miles in a single week. I come from a hiking family—weekends were spent at state parks, and each summer we traversed the country seeking new trails throughout the American West. These personal passions led me to dedicate my studies to the environment in general, and human interactions with natural resources and our landscapes in particular. I am a non-traditional student, in that I graduated in 2015 from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Plan II Honors, and spent the following year as an Environmental Scientist on the Geology team of an Austin-based Environmental Consulting firm (aci Group, LLC). As a result of the interests and skills I gained in this work, as well as my overall evolution from the liberal arts to the earth sciences throughout my time at UT, I was inspired to return to UT Austin for the course work necessary to reorient my career path towards a purer geology track, and will leave with a BS in Geology after the 2017-18 year. Over the course of my academic and professional career I have migrated from a policy perspective towards a ‘harder science’ track, as I realized that the most effective public policies and programs should in fact be heavily informed by a strong scientific base. My long-term goals include obtaining Professional Geoscientist certification as well as pursuing a MS order to be a strong technical contributor on both private and public sector scientific problems. I am currently working to narrow my interests and goals for graduate work, and am interested in utilizing a combination of geochemistry and physical modeling to study problems involving hydrology, structure, and geomorphology.