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Geology Personal Statement

It only takes travelling around a small area to develop a curiosity about your surroundings; however, having visited Iceland, Morocco and Scotland amongst other areas of geological significance, I have developed more than a curiosity. Edinburgh's Arthur's Seat, Morocco's extensive Jebel Sahro plateau and the craggy Icelandic landscape have prompted a deep interest in the formation and upheaval that have led to today's landscapes.

Geology attracts me with its relevance to our planet from the history of its formation 4.5 billion years ago all the way through to the current day and into the future; from the Hadean era to the Holocene/Anthropocene epoch. The multidisciplinary makeup of the subject appeals to me by amalgamating the Sciences, Mathematics and the fieldwork and applied nature of Geography. For example, spending a week conducting research in the field for my AS exams I learnt various sampling techniques, methods of representing data and considering the advantages and disadvantages of equipment. This taught me the value of fieldwork and increased my ability to deal with such an approach. Furthermore, understanding the varying thickness of lavas was made easier by my comprehension of the chemistry behind it. These were two examples, for me, of how the multidisciplinary approach needed when studying Geology can be beneficial.

Outside the curriculum I have found particular interest in the breadth of Geology and how there are still advances to be made. For instance a chapter in David Rothery's "Geology: The Key Ideas" talked of Planetary Geology. This aspect will allow Geology to remain at the frontiers of Science for years, studying planets more developed and less developed than our own, giving indications of our planet's past along with its possible future. In addition to this I have a copy of Novak and Korbel's "Encyclopedia of Rocks and Minerals". Delving into this book repeatedly I have been increasingly interested in the development of the vast array of rocks.

In the last academic year I was a member of a six-strong team representing the Tunbridge Wells district at a Kent-wide competition, to present a case for a wind farm in the local area. This competition was sponsored by DONG, Denmark's leading energy company. Over two days we had to crunch data, construct a model turbine and eventually deliver a presentation proposing our farm. This experience showed me that I have an aptitude over a wide area, which is what Geology requires. I enjoyed particularly working with a small team of like-minded students.

I also attended a week-long course at Newcastle University on the topic of Environmental Science. I was particularly interested in a lecture by Dr. Peter Manning on carbon sequestration in which he discussed the natural carbon dioxide storage capacities for various ecosystems. This was my first experience of university-level teaching and its relevance and thought-provoking content deeply impressed me.

In the sporting world I have played for West Kent District Rugby, Sevenoaks RFC and the school's 2nd XV in Year Twelve. In addition to rugby, I have played cricket for Sevenoaks Vine 3rd XI and have generally kept fit by being involved in sport whether it be squash, swimming or running. Aside from sporting activities, I'm in the process of completing The Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and also have particular interest in analogue photography- shooting, developing and printing film. In doing this I have picked up on some of the photochemistry of the Silver Halide process. Understanding some of the chemistry and physics behind photography, whether digital or analogue, tests my ability to apply knowledge from a school curriculum to another field.

I believe that studying Geology will enable to me to find a career where I can use both the diverse skill base and depth of knowledge that I will further over the course- A career where I can be challenged to the extent that I build upon my studies and continue to learn.

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This personal statement was written by RuaMcK for application in 2012.

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