Name: Sophie Benaroya
Major(s) and Minor: Geological Science and Plant Science
How did you decide on your major?
I chose my major because I have always been interested in how the Earth formed and how everything on it works; from climate to earthquakes. Geoscience is a very interdisciplinary field, drawing on many of the other STEM fields such as chemistry, physics and engineering (to name a few), an aspect I really appreciated.
What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?
The thing I love most about Geoscience is the diversity of the jobs you can go into with this degree. You can work in environmental protection, oil, water and gas extraction or in research in fields from climate science to planetary studies. In addition, the culture of the department has been a major contributor to my undergraduate experience. The EPS department is great because of the friendliness and helpfulness of all the staff and faculty in it. The department is smaller than the other sciences so there are plenty of opportunities available to students and lots of support in terms of research opportunities, class help and career information.
Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?
One of my favorite professors in the department is Dr. Herzberg. I had him as my professor for Mineralogy and it was in that class that I realized how impactful geoscience is. Dr. Herzberg was clearly very passionate about the class (especially olivine!) and its necessity in geoscience, which always made for an informative and entertaining lecture.
What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?
My favorite classes outside of the EPS department have been Greek and Roman Mythology and the Urban World because they taught me how to think critically and interdisciplinary, both important skills in geoscience as well.
What are your other Rutgers activities?
I am currently involved in paleoceanography research; specifically, sea temperature reconstructions of the North Atlantic during the Miocene (23-5.3 Ma). I am the Vice-President of the Geology club, which plans hikes and plans geo-major related activities. I am also involved in the Diversity Peer Educator program where I facilitate workshops on a variety of issue such sexism, classism and identity. Finally, I am a part of the BuildON club which fundraises to build schools in developing countries.
What are your plans following graduation?
After graduation I would like to go on to pursue a graduate degree, likely in astrobiology or environmental geology. I am very interested in the intersection between science and policy, and as such plan on pursuing a joint JD/PhD.