Meet Ryan Murata, Senior Major in Geology

Tell us something about where you grew up and your experiences.

I grew up in Warrington, PA, a town about an hour outside of Philadelphia.  I was absolutely obsessed with geology when I was little and loved watching just about every documentary on volcanoes, earthquakes, and meteorites that I could get my hands on.

What do you like about the EEPS Dept?

I really like the small class sizes and sense of community that the EEPS department fosters.  It allows professors to teach in a more hands-on style compared to classes with hundreds of students in them, and fosters closer connections to my peers.

What’s something you don’t know about or how to do, but would like to learn?

I’d really like to get better at coding, specifically in Python and Matlab.  Even though I’m pursuing a minor in computer science, my coursework never allowed me many opportunities to practice using those incredibly useful languages.

Tell us about your senior research thesis.

My senior thesis is about studying granites shot by electron beams to learn more about potential interactions between dark matter and rocks over geologic timescales.  This data will be used by citizen science projects that are searching for remains of dark matter interactions in rocks, which will give us more information on the characteristics of dark matter.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to do downhill skating in my free time.  I’ve recently gotten more into the racing aspect of the sport and ended up finishing in the top 10 in the last race I competed in.  I also set a personal top speed record of 55mph last year at Soldiers of Downhill, an event I participated in but didn’t race at.

What are you enthused about for your future?

I’m incredibly excited for the summer and fall after I graduate!  I’m in the process of applying to field camps and plan on attending graduate school in the fall.