Our March student spotlight is Chelsea Beaubouef, one of our Teaching Assistants in the Department of Geography and the Environment. Currently, she is studying with Dr. Harry Williams and her Master's thesis is focused on using a multi-proxy approach to identify marine overwash sediments in a coastal lakebed.
Before arriving at the University of North Texas, Chelsea received her Environmental Science bachelor's degree (with a minor in Geology) at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview (which is in west Texas, between Lubbock and Amarillo). She focused on soccer throughout high school and her undergraduate years, so she didn't figure out what she wanted to do until her last semester of college and in the early months after she graduated with her degree. The story goes, Chelsea's family went hiking almost every summer in many of America's national parks, and she always enjoyed the outdoors and learned about earth processes during these vacations. These trips paved the way for Chelsea's passion and led her to major in Environmental Science. While she was in an environmental geology class, there was a lesson on coastal erosion that got her attention because it was, in a sense, happening in her "backyard". Chelsea graduated from college and got a job working on a project that monitored wetland restoration projects. From that point, she knew that she wanted to learn more and to continue her education in this research area. As she searched for graduate schools, she happened across Dr. Williams' webpage and became interested in the research he was doing.
Fast-forward to today and Chelsea is nearly done with her time at UNT. Chelsea says that the best part about being a graduate student at the university is the people in the Geography department, whom she believes are kind and inviting folks (she especially loved getting together with her peers, colleagues, and professors before the pandemic!). Once she graduates with her Master's degree, she would like a job that allows her to use her knowledge of coastal processes to help communities (in particular with beach nourishment projects and coastal erosion assessments).
One of the lessons Chelsea wants to pass onto students is that a person doesn't have to know everything the first semester they begin - that it's a process. Time management is also key. Seems like good advice from this graduate student! Fun facts about Chelsea - she has played soccer since she was 5 years old, and left back is her favorite position. She also has a goldendoodle named Satchmo. Her number 1 item on her bucket list is to visit Patagonia. Indeed, she hopes to live abroad for some time. As a Denton resident, Chelsea suggests visiting the hiking trail at South Lakes Park, which is a "hidden gem" for enjoying the outdoors.