Meet Our New Research Intern: Astrid Garcia

Name: Astrid Garcia

Hometown: Hesperia, CA (I live in Riverside, CA now)

Major: Geology

Institution: Riverside City College, Riverside, CA

How I got interested in my major: 

There are multiple reasons why I decided to pursue geology. To start off, as a child you would always find me outside and more specifically, in the dirt! I was always fascinated with fossils and finding the coolest looking rocks!

As I grew older, my interests became more diverse; I started thinking about becoming a medical examiner, zoologist, environmental scientist or engineer, the list went on and on. I was all over the place and couldn’t figure out what I truly wanted to focus on.

After I graduated high school, I worked towards becoming a funeral counselor under the guide of my aunt who is a funeral director/embalmer. At that point in my life, I thought I wanted to become a medical examiner, so I wanted to get exposure to dealing with human remains. I later realized that I did not want to do that.

Afterwards, I decided to enroll in college. For my major, I knew I wanted to pursue a natural science, but wasn’t sure of what in particular. During my third semester at RCC, I registered for geology of national parks and a geology field studies class that was a one week camping trip. I wasn’t a frequent camper, however, I was up for the challenge. To this day, I’m thankful that I made that decision because we visited numerous national and state parks all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah. I fell in love with everything I learned and saw. Also, my professor William Phelps made the experience even more enjoyable because of his enthusiasm, humor, and his extremely down to earth personality. After that, I took all the field studies classes that RCC offers, and I have even audited a few more since then. That’s what ultimately led to me pursuing geology.

Why I love geology: I enjoy learning about minerals, rock formations, and being able to identify what I find. Moreover, I also love learning about karst topography; especially, after I visited my first cave (Lehman Caves at the Great Basin National Park) I had to learn more! In addition, I am also fascinated by the “scary side” of geology such as volcanoes and the destructive effects of earthquakes (i.e. liquefaction and tsunamis). Lastly, since I was a kid, I have loved fossils; so, paleontology is also part of my list. There are so many applications of geology and numerous geologic processes that I want to learn more about and understand!