Meet Geoffrey Stillwell, a current student in the Environmental Geology program! He comes to the program as a retired professional with Boeing in the field of chemical engineering with Boeing. He already holds a B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Applied Math, as well as a M.S. in Geotechnics, Environmental Engineering, and Watershed Management/Restoration. Geoff has a background in the applied aspects of earth science, but recently developed an interest for the theoretical content of the geosciences and ecology and their presentation (importance) in education, so he pursued entering the Environmental Geology online program.
Mr. Stillwell is looking forward to his second career in science education and shares “I am teaching introductory environmental science at a community college in fall 2022, so by having an up-to-date background in the geosciences I can teach more relevant and beneficial information to my students.” He joined the program because “I thought the program [at Illinois] was close enough to my home so that I could make an appearance on campus occasionally if I wanted to and the flexibility to focus on the topics I had in mind for education. I felt this would lead to an interesting research project.”
Geoffrey shares that since he is retired from his first career he wanted to pick a program that expanded his knowledge in a growing area of the geosciences to apply to teaching as a second career. He took GEOL 572 Hydrogeology with Python this spring 2022 and shared that he really appreciated that it was taught by a working professional that was both engaging and responsive to students. Dr. Daniel Abrams, Associate Research Scientist, Groundwater Flow Modeler at the Illinois State Water Survey is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Geology and the instructor for the GEOL 572 course. Mr. Stillwell cited that learning from a professional working at a state agency that helps real communities solve or plan their water supply needs was a bonus! He further shared “it is my goal to understand our experience on earth through our evolution, ecology, and geology…I believe these are essential elements of our sustainability for the future”. He believes completing this program will help him attain some of that knowledge.
The online Environmental Geology Certificate and Master’s degree programs help prepare those desiring to pursue careers in environmental consulting, as technicians, regulators, educators and more! Read more about the program curriculum, admissions and more at igeology.illinois.edu. Faculty and advisors can assist potential students develop a plan of study that fits their professional and personal goals!
We are glad you found a home in the Online Environmental Geology Program, Geoffrey, and we are excited you are part of the Illinois family!