Arkansas students explore life as a geologist

The UA Little Rock Geology Camp participants (L to R) include: Front row: Geology camp instructors Elizabeth Haralson and Calie Pace and students Michelle Jones, Caroline Nalumansi, and Kaitlyn Gill. Back Row: Faizan Parray, Luigi Cutolo, Sreevatsav Seenivasan, Blair King, Jodi Williams, staff member, Insherah Qazi, and Maranda Geoffrion, staff member.

Nine Arkansas students got a taste of life as a geologist during the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s second Geology Camp. 

Held June 10-15 on the UA Little Rock campus, the free one-week summer enrichment program was sponsored by the UA Little Rock George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology. It offered junior high and high school students a unique overview of life as a geologist. Students studied topics like field mapping, mineralogy, fossils, topographical mapping, and geologic time.

The Geology Camp participants include:

  •      Victoria Bourgeois, of Bismarck, a student at Bismarck High School
  •      Luigi Cutolo, of Bentonville, a student at Bentonville High School
  •      Kaitlyn Gill, of Hot Springs, a student at Cutter Morning Star Elementary
  •      Michelle Jones, of North Little Rock, a student at North Little Rock Middle School
  •      Blair King, of Scott, a student at LISA Academy West
  •      Caroline Nalumansi, of Little Rock, attending Episcopal Collegiate
  •      Faizan Parry, of Little Rock, attending Pulaski Academy
  •      Insherah Qazi, of Little Rock, attending LISA Academy West
  •      Sreevatsav Seenivasan, of Little Rock, attending Central High School

UA Little Rock students Elizabeth Haralson, a graduate student studying environmental geology from Wynne, and Callie Pace, a senior geology major from Mountain Home, led the camp’s activities.

“This camp has blown us away,” Haralson said. “All the students have bright futures ahead of them. We completely enjoyed our week. The kids exceeded all our expectations. They were asking the hard questions, thinking outside the box. It was so rewarding to see the light bulb go off in their heads when they understood a concept and to think that we have taught them something that they might remember for the rest of their lives.”

Outside the classroom, students took field trips to Coleman Creek, Coleman Quartz Mine, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, and the Arkansas Geological Survey.

One of the students’ favorite activities was the exploration of Coleman Creek, where the campers cleaned up the creek, observed wildlife, and collected samples of water and rocks for further study.

“Playing in the creek is so fun,” Bourgeois said. “I enjoyed the exposure of going into the field and learning what geologists do.”

Bourgeois also appreciated the opportunity to prepare for college.

“I love science,” she said. “I do always look for different opportunities to go to college. I like meeting new people and learning new things. I really enjoyed the college prep class. I want to study science and engineering, and geology is something I could further explore now that I know a lot more about what geologists do.”

In the upper right photo, the UA Little Rock Geology Camp participants visit the Ron Coleman Mine for Crystal Mining. Front row (L to R): Geology camp instructors Elizabeth Haralson and Callie Pace and students Michelle Jones, Caroline Nalumansi, and Kaitlyn Gill. Back Row: Faizan Parray, Luigi Cutolo, Sreevatsav Seenivasan, Blair King, Jodi Williams, staff member, Insherah Qazi, and Maranda Geoffrion, staff member.

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