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From early June to late August, I completed fieldwork in southeast Iceland with an Icelandic professor and a French student. Every day, we travelled to remote locations on the island to set up GPS stations. Finding each new station was comparable to geo-cacheing, and we were able to establish roughly 6 per day, while taking down the same number. Each station remained for roughly three days to allow sufficient communication between the ground instrument and the satellites. Ground position is determined with the data and compared with the station’s previous positions to reveal how that location is changing through time. The awesome nature of tectonic, magmatic, and post-glacial forces in Iceland leaves plenty to unravel!

This experience taught me new technical skills in geoscience application as well as new skills in scientific and international communication/collaboration. It was a chance to live abroad, experience a different culture, and be a scientist—all in one! The opportunity and all that I have learned from it will stick with me both personally and professionally.

It would have been simple to complete the field work without understanding the applications of the data we collected, but understanding the science behind why we were collecting it made it interesting. Furthermore, we can use this data in future studies, and hopefully give useful information back to the scientific community!

Though I may not end up being a geo-technician, I have learned from this experience that I can and will conduct research in the future. To that end, grad school is in my future.