How An Accident Didn't Stop This Geologist From Doing Her Job

Being a geologist requires people to always do field work outside the laboratory. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

Due to the type of subject that they study, geologists often live out a career that mostly involves hiking boots, a hard hat and the outdoors. Lots and lots of the outdoors. But since people who have a career in geology are outside-dwelling people, then that simply means that their job entails a more exciting “workplace.”

This is the same mindset that Anita Marshall has, and is actually one of the things she loves most about being a geologist. Unfortunately, her life took a rather unexpected turn back when she was in graduate school since a drunk driver hit her while she was unloading her things.

Thankfully, she survived. Unfortunately, she needed six surgeries as well as a wheelchair for about a year. After that, she needed to go through therapy in order to learn how to walk again. And on top of that, she’s still suffering from nerve damage and other effects of the accident. But Marshall, as solid as the rocks she studies, still decided to become a geologist, and become one she did.

At the moment, she’s now at Florida State University, working on finding ways to help others with physical disabilities learn more about the field she’s dedicating her life to.

“Originally my passion was to be a field geologist. But I felt I couldn’t do that after my accident. Instead, I taught in a community college for seven years. I loved it. But I missed doing research and tackling tough science questions,” Marshall said in a recent interview with Science News for Students.

“A video I used in class showed geologist Stanley Williams of the University of Arizona. He was badly hurt in a volcanic eruption. Some of his injuries were similar to mine. And he still got out into the field. Seeing that gave me the push I needed to go back to school,” she added.

Now that her career in geology has took off and has taken her to different places, Marshall said that one important lesson is to find mentors who will push you to be better as well as to not discriminate in any way.

rocks Being a geologist requires people to always do field work outside the laboratory. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

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