Geology students headed to Texas for National Science Foundation research project

April 25, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Two Grand Rapids Community College students are among only seven selected nationwide for a summer research project in Texas.

Geology students Maegan Bouwens and Madison Jones will spend four weeks doing fieldwork through a fully funded research experience at the University of Texas-El Paso. The university collaborates with El Paso Community College and the National Science Foundation to provide the research opportunity to two-year students who are interested in a career in geology. Bouwens and Jones will study 34- to 56-million-year-old igneous rocks in El Paso and then will continue their research back in Michigan.

Bouwens, who plans to transfer to Grand Valley State University to pursue bachelor’s degrees in geology and chemistry, is excited about her first research experience.

“I am a huge fan of exploration, so the chance to go somewhere and learn about geology and chemistry in the field is very exciting!” she said.

In addition to the fieldwork, they will attend professional meetings, workshops and seminars with geoscience professionals.

“Upon completion of their research projects, Maegan and Madison will have the opportunity to present their research to both the local community and at a professional meeting for geoscientists,” said GRCC geology professor Tari Mattox. “We are so excited that two of our students have this opportunity and look forward to hearing about their experience!”

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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