Mark Panning is an Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of Florida. He received his undergraduate degree at IU.
“When I came to college I knew I wanted to study science, but I didn't really know which field. I took a summer geology field course at IU. I thought that it would be fun to essentially get college credit for hiking around in Montana. I liked that course which led me to take some more geology classes and I discovered that I really liked the field.
Earth Science is very integrated. Your work involves a sampling of a variety of fields including chemistry, physics, and biology. You have to work with pieces of everything. Earth scientists as a whole are very collegial. You work together to move the science forward, and I really liked that.
In the Geological Sciences department at IU the profs tended to treat the students more like colleagues. You could get along with the professors. The class sizes were small and you'd interact with the same people and get comfortable with them. You get more personalized attention than you would at a larger department.”