Student Successes

Kathryn (Kat) Holper

M.S. in Geology

What degree are you working toward?

M.S. in Geology

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

I completed my BS in Geology at IUPUI. For many of the same reasons why I initially chose IUPUI, I felt inspired to further my education here. I had worked closely with many great professors and students on campus, and when it came time to choose a graduate program, I realized that IUPUI would be the best environment for me to continue to grow as a student and as a geologist.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

My favorite and most prominent academic accomplishment while acquiring my Masters was the opportunity to attend my profession’s largest annual conference (the Geological Society of America’s annual conference, this year held in Denver, Colorado). I was accepted to present a poster on my graduate research, accumulated over the last 14 months. During my presentation, a man came up to me, pointed at my poster, and said, “Hey, that’s my name!” And that was how I met my colleague Dr. Jaime Escobar from Colombia, South America, for the first time. I was also able to meet an idol, Dr. Bryon Steinman, by sheer circumstance; his first and only graduate student’s presentation was right next to mine!

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

We literally live at the crossroads of America! Since I have lived here, I have traveled to Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, California, Hawaii, and the Bahamas. Almost every imaginable place is reachable in just a few hours by plane, which has provided an amazing opportunity to see the world around me.

We literally live at the crossroads of America! Since I have lived here, I have traveled to Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, California, Hawaii, and the Bahamas.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

I am currently developing a ~2500 year long paleo-hydroclimate record in for a lake in Boyacá, Colombia, South America. This is done by using physical and geochemical analyses of lake sediments to reconstruct the local paleoclimate. By comparing my data with other South American records, I hope to provide evidence for the “dry-island effect,” which was first mentioned in 1975 by J.W. Snow, but as of yet, remains unproven.

I am also the School of Science Graduate Student Council’s (SOSGSC) Representative for the Earth Sciences Dept., and teach lab sections for the Introduction to Geology and Environmental Science (Geol-G 20 and G117, respectively).

Kathryn is also a recipient of the IUPUI Travel Fellowship award. Read more about her Travel Fellowship here »