With well-formed goals for the future, All wasted no time jumping into research – something not always available to undergraduate students at larger institutions. Alongside geology professor Parvinder Sethi, she investigated the use of portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology to collect chemical composition data on black shale. Black shale is abundant worldwide and can produce sulfuric acid when it reacts with rain water, negatively affecting the water supply. All’s primary research involved assessing the handheld XRF instrument’s ability to analyze the shale’s chemical composition. The results of her research have been presented at research symposiums and professional meetings.
With a year left in her undergraduate program, All’s research career has only just begun. This summer she will work on a research project studying the Lower Mount Rogers Formation with assistant professor Elizabeth McClellan. She will spend a week in the field collecting samples that will help the team draw conclusions about the origin of the sediment that composes the formation.
“Knowing the origin of the sedimentary deposits is important for understanding the geological history of this region,” All said.
All believes that these research projects and the 1:1 attention she receives from her professors have given her a solid foundation on which to build her career.
“I have really enjoyed the opportunities to do research and conduct fieldwork alongside my classmates and professors,” she said. “These experiences have really prepared me for a career as a geologist.”