Undergraduate Spotlight: Dayna Zunder

Dayna Zunder undergraduate student spotlight

"I’d like to thank all of my professors, colleagues and the Geology Department staff for a wonderful two years in the department. I am really looking forward to this final year, and seeing what the future holds for all of us."

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

Program: Geological Engineering

Current year: 4

Why I chose Geology:

Of all the earth sciences, I think geology is the most important. The earth has given us such a powerful natural legacy; energy, water, and mineral resources. Geology teaches us that the stewardship of our planet rests on our shoulders; so, it is vital to find ways to use its resources judiciously and mindfully. Everything around us, what we see, touch and consume is related to geology in some way.  Important for our global food supply by identifying soil quality and ideal growing areas, geology's impact is also integral to infrastructure like masonry for roads and bridges. Geology makes me appreciate travelling. Now, I notice everything: road cuts, rocks, boulders and intrusions.  I chose geology because of its diversity—it incorporates aspects of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. Most classes in the department have a lab component and a field trip.  I love being out in the fresh air. Working outside beats sitting at a desk, any time. 

Student involvement/extracurricular activities I am involved with:

Throughout my time at Queen’s, being involved in extracurricular activities has been an important aspect of my student life. I am currently an executive member of both Miller Club (the geology club), and Queen’s Conference on Ocean Sustainability. I am also a member of the Queen’s Gymnastics Club, practicing twice a week at Trillium Gymnastics. 

The professor(s) or course which has influenced me the most so far:

During my time in the Geological Sciences and Engineering Department, Professor Rob Harrap and Dr. Mark Diederichs have influenced me the most so far. Their wit and profound knowledge about the earth and how the geosciences interact with society is truly inspiring. I’ve enjoyed the courses they’ve taught me over the years, including GEOE 281 (Earth Systems Engineering 2) and GEOE 333 (Terrain Analysis). 

Most memorable Queen’s experience so far:

My most memorable Queen’s experience so far is the Winter Gronch. This large and boisterous event in the Geology Department celebrates the holiday season and the end of the semester. It’s a time for students and faculty to come together, and appreciate Dr. Peterson’s turkey carving abilities! 

After I graduate, I:

After I graduate, I hope to continue in academia by pursuing a degree in biomedical sciences, and potentially a degree in the medical field.