Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faces of SRAP: Matt Trujillo

The Summer Research Apprentice Program has officially come to a close, and this is our final SRAP student spotlight. Thanks for reading about these excellent students!

Matt Trujillo, a junior from Denver, Colorado enjoys math and science, and explains,
“I like math because it always has a problem and always has a solution,” he says. “And I like science because it is an actual application of mathematics, and it is amazing to understand how the universe works.”

Before coming to the University of Wyoming to participate in the SRAP program, Matt wanted to study engineering after high school.

“I’m not sure now though,” Matt says.  “Geophysics is actually super interesting, so I might want to pursue that.”

Matt learned many new things about geophysics as he spent his summer studying with Dr. Steve Holbrook in the Geology and Geophysics department.

“I’m studying Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR),”he says. “It’s a non-invasive way of finding water in the subsurface.”

Matt’s favorite part of his project has been conducting the research himself.

“I really like actually using the NMR in the field and interpreting my own data.” He says.

Conducting this kind of research is something that most high school students, and even many undergraduate students do not have the opportunity to experience.

“He’s getting to use this instrument in the field, and he’s getting to analyze the data himself, he’s seeing it,” says Dr. Holbrook. “He’s actually doing what a graduate student would do.”

Matt enjoys geophysics for many reasons, and hopes to learn more about the field.

“I like that it’s super hands-on. I also like all of the different technologies you can use. They’re just cool,” Matt says. “I want to learn more about geophysics and how it can be used and applied in the real world.”

SRAP is a six-week, intensive research program for high school students. It is based at the University of Wyoming and is sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR. To learn more about the program, click here, or search “SRAP” in the archives.

By Robin Rasmussen

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