Mike Haney’s Montana Research Project, Summer, 2002
During the summer of 2002 I had the chance to go to Montana to gather field data for my senior thesis here at Allegheny. Having never been west of Michigan, this would be an experience to remember. I anxiously waited for the day my advisor and I would fly out to Montana and begin working. At first I was intimidated by the thought of having to do a comp, but it’s been an exciting experience so far. Having the chance to go out west was something I’d always hoped for. Actually getting to go to Montana to study the geology of the area was a thrilling journey. Prior to the trip, I became as familiar as I could to the geologic setting and previous work regarding my proposed area of study.
Having gained financial support from both ACCEL and the Dean of the College, the project took off with us aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Pittsburgh, PA on July 20th 2002. Being as anxious as I was, I was a bit nervous too! This was my first experience with a geology project that would really test my skills and determination. The next four weeks were filled with the adventure of discovering new places, meeting new people, and learning all I could about the region. This involved much more than I had expected, not only including my project along the Missouri River in Great Falls, MT, but also learning about the rich history of the area, and gaining an understanding of the many ecosystems and natural wonders of the diverse landscape of Montana. The days were long and busy, filled with geologic fieldwork, the summer heat, and difficult terrain. During those four weeks I learned a great deal about geology, leadership, cooperation, independence, friendship, professionalism, and all about how a geology project in the field is conducted. Having hands-on experience in the field has given me a unique perspective and heightened my interest in the geology of the area considerably. Working on the project back at Allegheny is also a thrilling chance to see the project evolve into a finished product. I will always remember my trip to Montana as being my first real geology project as well as my first impression of the American West
- My senior research proposal is a brief summary of the nature and goals of the work completed this summer in Montana.
- Some of the most exciting and impressionable aspects of my trip were recorded in my personal journal. These reflections are a descriptive narrative of some of my favorite memories.
- Also included are some of the amazing scenes I was able to capture on film.