Meet Thomas Hotaling, Senior Major in Environmental Geology

Tell us something about where you grew up

Although I was born in Cincinnati, I have spent most of my life in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Even though I was surrounded by manicured lawns and plastic playgrounds, my parents made sure I had plenty of opportunities to go hiking in camping in the beautiful forests of Missouri and Illinois.

What do you like about the EEPS Dept?

There are many reasons why I love the CWRU EEPS Department. It is such a tight-knit little community, and I have learned so much about geology and the world as a whole. I have also loved the opportunity to explore amazing places from Death Valley to Cuyahoga Valley with this amazing group.

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

I would really love to learn more about dendrology, which is the study of trees.

Tell us about your senior research thesis

I am working on my senior research thesis with Dr. Saylor, and I am looking at several sediment cores from Lake Erie to help determine information about the paleoenvironment.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I try to be outside as much as possible, and I especially enjoy backpacking, fossil hunting, and bird watching.

What are you enthused about for your future?

I once had a dream where I was part alligator and part rock, and I travelled the world freeing rocks and alligators from various oppressors. I am quite enthused to begin my transformation and make that dream a reality.