My name is Alyssa and I am a study abroad student from Minnesota (USA) here at JCU for one semester. I am studying geology and biology and am doing my first ever research here to gain a bit of experience and use for my senior capstone presentation next year. Since it is my first time doing research we are keeping it simple and and I am analyzing a bed of volcanic ash to see what sorts of minerals it has in it. I am also doing uranium-lead dating of zircon crystals for a different bed. Both samples come from Tanzania, and were unfortunately not collected by me but by other members of the research group.
I am currently a junior (or third-year) and will graduate in May 2017. Back home in Minnesota I love going outdoors and hiking or swimming, boating, and fishing on one of my state's 11,842 lakes! I also love playing with my dog (golden retriever) and going camping with family and friends. Minnesota is much different than Townsville, and when I got back in November I will be going from 37 degrees to -37 degrees (with wind)! However different those two places may be, I feel at home here in Townsville and I am having a wonderful time exploring this beautiful country's people, places, and of course, geology!