Earth Sciences Alumni - John Corley
John Corley, B.S. Geosciences
"Hello! I’m John Corley, and I am proud to call myself an alumnus of the Tennessee Tech Earth Sciences Department (’11). The TTU Earth Sciences Department has a rich tradition of laying down a substantial foundation of a broad range of geologic fundamentals, which translates into success in the workplace. The quality of education you get at the department is reflected in the history of the students’ successes Tennessee Geoconclave.
"I am currently a registered professional geologist at the Missouri Geological Survey, which is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Our state survey is special because it not only handles typical geologic survey duties such as mapping and research, but my group also performs regulatory oversite. My day-to-day job as an environmental geologist encompasses so many aspects of geology. We oversee the design, installation, and review of groundwater and gas monitoring networks for sanitary landfills; we conduct geologic and hydrologic evaluations of existing and proposed wastewater treatment facilities including earthen storage basins, land application sites, and mechanical treatment plants as part of their permitting process – this also includes performing stream evaluations to determine losing or gaining classifications; and we perform investigations related to geologic hazards such as sinkholes and landslides, and remediation support for concerned citizens.
"Field work is performed on a weekly basis, and we have state-wide jurisdiction so I get to see all of Missouri’s rocks and wide variety of landscapes. Each day is different, which keeps me on my toes. Before my current job, I worked in water pollution enforcement and compliance. In this day and age, having a working knowledge of how to read and interpret rules and regulations will help you in not only your professional career (whatever that may be), but also help you in your personal life in helping you become a more informed citizen in regard to how rules and regulations are made – and how you can provide feedback and help change them.
"My feedback for potential or current students of the program: ask your professors if they need help with a research project! Get out of your social comfort zones! Go on all the school field trips! Go hiking, caving, or kayaking! The greater Cookeville area has some world-class waterfalls and caves, so study hard and enjoy a well-deserved break exploring Mother Nature and fully enjoying your current time and space at Tennessee Tech. Because you never know where life will fling you, but I hope you enjoy your journey along the way," John Corley.