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Faces of New Paltz

Amie Staley

Past Faces of New Paltz

Dean Engle
Julian de la Rua
Electrical Engineering

Hometown: Kingston, N.Y.
Major: Geology
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2013

  • 2012 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU): Watershed characterization in the Stony Clove basin of the Esopus Creek
  • Co-President, Geology Club
  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Theta Beta Chapter (National Honor Society for the Earth Sciences)


Why New Paltz?

I chose (New Paltz) because it's near my hometown, and it was such a great choice. I am glad I did, because I found this school to be better than other colleges I was originally considering.

How was your experience in the REU program?

Working in the Catskills, near my hometown, near my school, doing awesome work … It was probably the best time of my life. I like glaciers, and we worked with glacial sediment up in the Stony Clove basin, which runs into the Esopus Creek. That’s exactly what I wanted to do and it was great

We traversed up and down the streams, and also some highlands. We would climb bluffs and carve them out with shovels and record all the different sediment. My specific part of the project was to create a 3-D GIS model ... to show the different stratifications of the sediment. I also used well logs to show what's underneath the ground, because we could only see what the stream has eroded into - we don't know what's below that ... It was more than I could ever learn in class.

Is there a particular professor or mentor at New Paltz who has inspired you?

Definitely Dr. (John) Rayburn. He is my current advisor for my major, and without him, I would be basically nowhere. He really cares about making sure that I, as well as other students, get where we want to be. I have the enthusiasm and the great work ethic, and he sees that. ... I'm putting the extra effort in, so he puts the extra effort in for me, to put me where I want to be.

Why is New Paltz's location conducive to your studies?

For our classes, we go up to the Shawangunks, we learn about the conglomerate in sedimentology class. We go up to the Catskills, and we learn how that was deposited. We go up to Albany - and then, for petrology class, we go over to Dutchess County. Geology's right here. Really, geology is everywhere, but we are lucky to be in an area that has awesome geology locally.

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