Skip to main content
Return to campus fall 2020 and other COVID-19 updates   READ MORE »

From student researcher to industry professional

| Sam Taylor

Sam Taylor, geology grad, attributes her job success to UWEC

During my time at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, I was involved with many academic and extra-curricular activities: student-faculty research, teaching assistant, campus ambassadors, Admissions communications intern, Hobnailers co-president, Blugold Marching Band member. And although all those experiences had a hand in leading me to the where I am today, I feel that the opportunities, relationships, and experiences that I gained through student-faculty research truly had the most impact on my career path.

I joined Dr. J. Brian Mahoney’s research team near the beginning of my junior year at UWEC, and over the next two and a half years, I traveled across the country to collect samples and data, interpret and analyze the results, and present our analysis and conclusions at local and national conferences. I gained experience working with advanced instrumentation for geochemical analysis that few undergraduate students are able to gain exposure to. Dr. Mahoney encouraged me to think critically and speak with confidence, which has proven to be a vital part of being an effective team member and professional, regardless of which industry of geology you choose to pursue. During my research opportunities, I also connected with academic scholars, industry professionals, and UWEC geology alumni in all branches of geology.

I am currently employed as a field geologist in Phoenix, AZ with Haley & Aldrich, Inc., an engineering and environmental consulting firm. I support many projects within the company by conducting environmental sampling, data analysis, and report compilation assistance. Through the company, I regularly get the opportunity to travel to project sites across the country to assist with field activates. With the support and encouragement of a Blugold geology alumnus who I connected with while conducting exploration mapping with Dr. Mahoney, I was able to accept my current position with Haley & Aldrich, Inc.