Undergraduate Spotlight: Shazhal Tariq


"If you are someone who loves the outdoors and are interested in understanding how and why different Earth processes occur all around us, then geology is the place for you!"

Hometown: Long Island, New York

Program: Geological Sciences

Current year: 3rd Year

Why I chose Geology:

Geology is a very hands on science. I often get the opportunity to apply my knowledge to the surrounding environment. Things we learn in class can be seen out in the field on both a macro and microscopic level. With infinite possibilities for exploration, you can choose to have a career in many different aspects of geology. Geology is seen in everything around us. Rocks rock!

Student involvement/extracurricular activities I am involved with:

I have been involved with Miller Club (Geo Department Student Council), and the Queen’s student chapter of the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG). Also, throughout high school and university I have worked with Habitat for Humanity. Southern Louisiana is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so every few years we go down and help put up foundations for new houses.

Shazhal in the fieldThe professor(s) or course which has influenced me the most so far:

All the classes I have taken at Queen’s have been incredible. So far, the most influential class has been The Dynamic Earth (Geol 104) with Dr. Layton-Matthews. This was the course that made me want to study geology. It marked the first time that I truly became fascinated with the science behind our surrounding environment and how it came to be the place we call home today!

Mineralogy (Geol 232) with Dr. Peterson, and Petrology (Geol 235) are two other courses that I also enjoyed a lot. They have directly influenced what field of geology I may aspire to go into in the near future.

Most memorable Queen’s experience so far:

Field School (Geol 300) is definitely the most memorable experience I have had so far at Queen’s. Two weeks of wandering in the woods all day, frenzied map coloring at night, and intense volleyball matches during some free time, brings you very close with your classmates. Sutton, Quebec is a beautiful city, and our professors and TA’s were very helpful and a lot of fun.

After I graduate, I:

Hope to either be working or pursuing my Master’s degree. I’ve loved the petrographic aspect of the classes I’ve taken, so doing something with that would be amazing.

One big goal I’d like to accomplish during my lifetime:

I have always wanted to travel the world, while learning as much about the Earth as I possibly can. After my undergrad, I would like to take some time and do a road trip across Canada and the United States.