Between a Rock and a Hard Place began as an Earth Science PhD blog in February 2013, as a place to ramble on about PhD life and general science topics. Almost two years later, some of the contributors have finished, others have submitted, and the rest are nearing the end. Over the next few weeks, the BaR contributors will be sharing some reflections on their PhD experiences. Taken from an original post on the Bristol Doctoral College blog.
Next in the series, KT Cooper.
OOne of the best parts about being a geologist is the travel. As an undergraduate you get the opportunity to visit some amazing places on fieldwork and for me this has spilled over to my PhD studies. A significant part of my project has been based on North Andros in the Bahamas, and although I have been protesting for a long time that fieldwork isn’t a holiday, it is still a breath-taking location to work. One of my favourite things has been sharing the experience with field assistants and watching their reactions as we reach the island for the first time; the people may be different but the reaction is the same – awe. Field assistants are also great at keeping you relatively sane when you have been sampling (in the rain) all day and filtering most of the night.
KT demonstrating the fieldwork essentials: penknife, string, gaffer tape and a bored looking field assistant! Photo credit: Didi Ooi
Say yes (to most things). I view the PhD as a training ground for a career, either in or out of academia, and that saying yes can help give you experiences and skills, which can be invaluable further down the line. But be careful not to overstretch yourself too much because you still need time to finish the PhD!