Melissa Reusche

Madison, WI, US
Field of Work 
Paleoclimate, glacial geology
University of Wisconsin Geology Museum
Job Title or "Student" 
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Geoscience, English
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
I graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2013 with a Bachelors in Geoscience, and well as English. During my undergraduate career, I made outreach a large priority while also conducting my own research. I worked at the UW Geology Museum, where I gave tours to school groups, designed and presented outreach material, curated collections, and assisted in fieldwork. My research was possible through an NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates that took me to Svalbard, up in the Arctic Circle. I spent summer 2012 on Spitsbergen, Svalbard doing fieldwork, followed by a school year in the laboratory, and I am currently in the process of publishing my data. I used radiometric isotopes in boulders to look at glacier fluctuations over the past 13,000 years. Despite my research focus on the relatively young Arctic, my course work primarily focused on paleontology. I absolutely love every aspect of Earth Science! Through the museum, I have spoken to the community about everything from coal, coral reefs, diamonds, dinosaurs, Mars, and (my favorite) glaciers. I truly believe that the tangible and inherently holistic nature of the Earth Sciences makes them a great way to get students in tune with the science they experience everyday.

After graduating, I spent summer 2013 traveling to public libraries around south central and southwestern Wisconsin through the UW Geology Museum, talking to families about dinosaurs. I ended the summer conducting fieldwork with the museum in Wyoming looking for Triassic reptiles, and began working at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. Here, I have my hand in a lot of pots: I manage the Subsurface Lab, the collection of rock samples we get from drillers around the state, sort of like looking after books in a library.

I have also participated in the Expanding Your Horizons conference here in Madison for the past two years, serving as a committee member in 2013. It is a great event for middle school girls, where they get a chance to talk with women professionals and students in the STEM disciplines.

I earned my Masters at UW-Madison working once again in the Arctic; this time I traveled to northern Greenland! While doing my lab work and coursework, I taught undergraduate classes and continued my volunteer work with the UW Geology Museum.

After 3 years as a petroleum geologist with Hess Corporation in Houston, TX, I have returned to UW-Madison to earn my PhD studying past climate. I am using cave deposits like stalagmites to learn about changes in temperature, precipitation, and more!

I look forward to becoming much more involved in STEM outreach in my community!
Working outdoors, Pets, Reading, Travel, Sports
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Field trip participation, In-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
Weekdays, Weekends
Career exploration activities, Field trip hosting, Fun demonstrations or materials, Hands-on activities for students, Identifying other role models, Online Mentoring (email or Skype)
Program Affiliation 

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