Field Labs and Soccer Fields

Within a two-week span, geology major Tamru Taye ’14 presented at the Geological Society of America’s 125th annual conference in Denver, and served as an attacking midfielder for Earlham’s men’s soccer team during a first-round match in the conference tournament.

“It’s a very busy time of life right now,” he says.

Taye and fellow Earlham senior Nicole Nembhard co-presented “Geoarcheology of the Bagratashen 1 Site, Northern Armenia: Soil Mineral and Chemical Assessment” on October 26 and 27.

“We did soil chemistry analysis on excavation sites,” says Taye, who worked with Assistant Professor of Geology Cynthia Fadem. “We had a profile of a small section, and we look at the results and are able to tell a story from that information.”

A career in geology

Taye says geology appeals to him as a career option because of its flexibility to work outside in the field and inside as well. Taye has benefited from the field labs, which are a major part of a geology education at Earlham.

“Field geology labs are basically a way to see the theories we discuss in class, out in real life,” he says. “One of the reasons for being a geologist is the appreciation for the outdoors, and field labs aid in that regard.

“When reading and learning about some of the geological theories, it is hard to have a full appreciation of their magnitude, but being out in the field puts things in perspective.

Field trips to the water treatment plant in Richmond have helped spark his interest.

“I hope to specialize in hydrogeology and management of water in the future,” he says. “Back home in Ethiopia water is a major issue. Both the management of water and the scarcity of water make it a major concern. Eventually I want to go back home to be part of the solution.”

Versatility at play

During his four years on the Earlham soccer team, Taye has played a variety of positions including defender, midfielder and striker.

“That’s the story of my life,” he jokes. “I consider myself a versatile player and the coaches see that in me as well. I have the ability to play in any position, but I like playing up front and having the glory that comes with scoring.

“I have a lot of fun wherever I am on the field,” he says. “It has been a great way to reduce stress outside of the academic setting.” One of his major highlights is winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title this year.

In addition, Taye serves as co-president of the Geology Club, is a former business manager of the Pan African Society at Earlham, and serves as a teaching assistant for organic chemistry.

“I try to keep busy,” he says. “That is my nature. I have always thought it was good to be involved with as many things as you can cope with.”

Tamru Taye
Tamru Taye 2014

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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