Student Spotlight with Cali Munzenrieder

Cali Munzenrieder is an FAU alumna who graduated in 2014 with her B.S. in Geology and in Summer 2016 with her M.S. in Geology. Munzenrieder has been a Hydrogeologist II for the last four and a half years at JLA Geosciences, Inc. located in Jupiter, Florida.

What are some of your core responsibilities?

My core responsibilities include hydrogeologic field oversight during well construction and development phases. Comprehensive field hydrologic data collection, field geologic analysis, wellfield performance, and water quality testing and pump testing, report preparation for water supply well projects. My favorite aspect of my job would have to be collecting samples during drilling. I'm a huge rock hound and can spot the tiniest shark's tooth in any pile of cuttings.

How did FAU help prepare you for this role?

FAU prepared me in more ways than one for my current role. My core work gave me the basic building blocks to excel in my career. My experience as a teaching assistant, for the mineralogy and petrology labs, really showed me that everyone learns and understands things differently. This principle has been something I've always reflected on when collaborating with others and/or training new hires at JLA. Additionally, balancing my classes, my responsibilities as a TA, an internship, and writing my thesis really helped me master the art of time management.

What did you enjoy about your experience at FAU?

Outside of the classroom, what I enjoyed most about my experience at FAU was the community that the geosciences department gave to me. I made numerous lifelong friendships. I also, like any geologist, loved my field camp experiences and will cherish those adventures for the rest of my life.

What research did you perform while at FAU? And how did the faculty help you through your thesis or dissertation?

My thesis research focused on understanding the variability of biogenic gas fluxes from peat soils at high temporal resolution using capacitance moisture probes. My advisor was Dr. Comas. He was extremely helpful with everything from brainstorming to helping me troubleshoot data. I couldn't have asked for a better advisor. Even with him having taken a sabbatical, during my final year of graduate school, he still managed to help me get my thesis done so I could graduate on time.

What tips would you give to current students in the College of Science looking to pursue a career in your field?

In the wise words of the late (and great) Tom Petty "the work never ends, but college does..." So enjoy your time at FAU and soak it all in! You might snarl at the thought of studying for a petrology exam or writing a geochemistry paper now but I promise you will look back on these memories fondly. My number two piece of advice would definitely be to network and always thank anyone from the industry that has taken time out of their day to speak to you, whether it be during colloquium or on a field trip.