Earth Science

Undergraduate Major & Minor College of Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Arts

Video Transcription

Landslide Research Transcription


[video: Researchers walk on a rocky mountain face, title text appears in white: “Locating Landslide Hazards in Western Washington.”]


[video: Students and a professor lift off a drone in a rocky, mountainous area.]


[video: Justin Johnsen’s voice comes in over sweeping overhead shots of a mountain face with trees.]

Justin Johnsen ‘18, Geosciences major: We’re actually looking at landslide hazards in western Washington and just trying to get a better feel of if a

[video: Justin sits in a geoscience classroom, a drone on the table directly behind him over his left shoulder. On the walls, posters of geologic information and diagrams hang on the white walls.]

Justin: slide where to go what exactly they can expect half and they can expect that the

[video: Justin’s voice continues over more clips of a mountain face.]

Justin: emphasis is really on you know helping people and hopefully saving lives

[video: Samantha Denham’s voice comes in over clips. A shot of a digital monitor showing topographic data. A shot from overhead of a town in cold weather, trees bare and some destruction on the ground.]

Samantha: there was a landslide event in 2014 in Oso Washington that took 43 lives it is the largest deadliest slide in US history and that event highlighted the

[video: Samantha sits in front of monitors behind her.]

Samantha Denham ‘18, Geosciences major: need for further research in areas that

[video: Samantha’s voice continues over clips. A monitor zooms in on an area of land. Students and a professor fly a drone.]

Samantha: Had previous landslides we’re using consumer base drone technology and we’re capturing images using those drones and then we download those images onto the

[video: Return to Samantha, who gestures at a screen behind her that shows a mountain face.]

Samantha: computer and then we’re able to create 3D maps using the photos that we took

[video: Clips of research. A group carries a drone box on a rocky mountain surface, they remove the drone together, set it down, and send it up in the air.]


[video: Professor Tarka Wilcox’s voice comes in over clips.]

Prof. Tarka Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Geosciences: I was originally looking into the idea
of using drones and as the technology just even within the last year has gotten better methodologies have gotten better but despite that it’s not ubiquitous yet right so that the

[video: Prof. Wilcox stands in front of shelves of drawers. On a table in front of him is a microscope.]

Prof. Wilcox: technology is emerging it’s soon to be ubiquitous

[video: Prof. Wilcox’s voice continues over clips. Students adjust the drone inside the classroom. Another smaller drone is put together. Students and Prof. Wilcox look at monitors of terrain. A shot of a stream flowing in the mountains.]

Prof. Wilcox: it’s gonna be everywhere before we know it and I think that you know essentially being able to get in on the ground floor and kind of ride that wave is gonna be really meaningful for students it basically puts them at the cutting edge really sets them apart from their peers in a way that allows them to market the skill as soon as they get done with their degree that’s kind of where we’re going with this is trying to generate students that have experience with applicable technologies that are in demand right now

[video: Justin’s voice comes in over clips. Prof. Wilcox looks to the sky as he flies a drone. Prof. Wilcox and students look at a set of monitors together.]

Justin Johnsen: there’s a huge up ramp to be able to fly a drone and to be able to map a site I mean there’s so many different things that you have to do but it’s really cool

[video: Return to Justin speaking to the camera in the classroom.]

Justin: to do and it’s really fun to try new things and to get to be a part of stuff

[video: Prof. Wilcox’s voice comes in over clips. Shots of a mountain waterway at dusk. Driftwood on the shore of the water. A panning shot over an alpine forest.
Prof. Wilcox: In some aspects it’s groundbreaking in other ways is just supporting the scientific community as a whole student student particularly undergraduate students it’s a great way to show them
[video: Return to Prof. Wilcox talking to the camera.]

Prof. Wilcox: just how applied you know a geological field of study can really be it’s not just about these big-picture questions

[video: Prof. Wilcox’s voice continues over a clip from the point of view of a drone, which slowly closes in on Prof. Wilcox, Justin, and Samantha standing in a rocky mountain area.]

Prof. Wilcox: it’s really about what can I do today to help these people tomorrow

[video: Samantha’s voice comes in over more clips. A panning shot overhead of a rocky mountain area with green trees. Students ride mountain bikes over a tree-lined trail. Samantha and Justin observe rocks as they sit in a rocky mountain landscape.]

Samantha: when I started going back to school I really found a love in geology and then this summer has really brought that home to me and it’s really helped me understand

[video: Return to Samantha speaking to the camera with the monitors behind her.]

Samantha: that I’m doing something I really am passionate about and that I enjoy doing it doesn’t really feel like work when you’re doing something that you love to do

[video: A clip of sun shining through the leaves of a tree. Fade to black.]

Earth Science is a multidisciplinary field that studies the features, processes and history of the earth. Earth scientists are central to addressing the challenges and issues facing the world in the 21st century, such as global climate change and evolving demands for energy resources. As an Earth Science major at PLU, you’ll get to take courses ranging from conservation of natural resources to earthquakes and volcanoes, from geochemistry to geomorphology. The Pacific Northwest is abundant with geologic features, giving you the opportunity to work closely with professors inside and outside the classroom on class-based and independent research, and do field studies in the Cascade Mountains, Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean coast and the Olympic Peninsula.

Graduates from the last 5 years: Their jobs

  • Natural Resource Technician, State of Alaska
  • Environmental Hazmat and Emergency Response Tech, Clean Harbors Environmental Services
  • Environmental Health Specialist, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
  • Reclamation Specialist, Washington Geological Survey
  • Geology and Climate Technician, AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Project Manager & Geologist-in-Training, Mud Bay Geotechnical Services
  • Mine Supervisor, Heidelberg Materials North America
  • Geotechnical Engineer - Geologist, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions
  • Geologist, US Army Corps or Engineers

Graduates from the last 5 years: Their graduate programs

  • Master of Science in Hydrology, University of Arizona
  • Master’s in Geology/Earth Science, Dartmouth College
  • Master of Science in Environmental Policy & Management, University of Denver
  • Master of Science in Global Affairs, NYU School of Professional Studies
  • PhD in Hydrologic Science & Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
  • Masters in Teaching, Washington State University
  • Masters of Education and Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Education, University of Wyoming
  • Master of Security and Disaster Management (MSDM), University of Alaska Fairbanks
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