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B.S. in Geology, 2016
Tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
Priyanka came to the University of Toledo as an international student. Her hometown is Mumbai, India, the sixth most populated city in the world. Priyanka is one of many students to travel from abroad and study at the University of Toledo. She chose UT for its strong undergraduate research program. While working towards her Bachelor’s degree, Priyanka joined Dr. James Martin-Hayden in his hydrology research.
Please tell us about your research?
As an undergraduate at the University of Toledo, I dealt with important coursework that introduced me to the processes that operate below the Earth’s surface and to utilize aspect of uniformitarianism to understand the past climate. Utilizing and applying knowledge of the basic sciences, math and geology to study the movement and groundwater-surface water interaction caught my attention the most and has made me to focus and get involved in the field of hydrogeology.
Her project examined how evapotranspiration affects shallow water tables and the flow path of ground water at Irwin Prairie in Toledo. Priyanka installed and analyzed data from seven piezometers. They recorded diurnal water table fluctuations each hour to predict the groundwater flow path. Priyanka also constructed a small scale model of Irwin Prairie to quantify the process of evapotranspiration in the unique soil that is native to the area.
What do you intend to do next?
Priyanka’s research experience with Dr. Martin Hayden inspired her to pursue graduate work in the field of hydrology and she is now enrolled in the Master’s program at Bowling Green State University. She is continuing to work on groundwater interactions for her thesis, and hopes to become a hydrogeologist after completing her education.
How was the experience at Toledo?
Coming to the University of Toledo was not an easy decision for Priyanka. She had to leave her home, friends and family to pursue an education in the United States. Priyanka found comfort from the many friends she made at UT, as well as the guidance from her advisor Dr. Martin Hayden. The confidence and knowledge she gained from her time in the department allowed her to pursue a higher degree in geology. “My research started with a question I had while being in the hydrogeology class. I believe no question is stupid; always inquire! Who knows; maybe that question is the start of an amazing research project. It was a wonderful journey at the University of Toledo. I will always miss this place and the people I met. Once a Rocket, always a Rocket!”
What are your goals?
My involvement in groundwater research as an undergraduate has inculcated my interest and I would like to continue being in the area of hydrogeological science. I wish to work to improve the water quality for betterment of the society.