When geology student Wesley Weichert first began his thesis project, he thought he had taken on too heavy a task.
With passion and determination, however, Weichert powered through the process.
He now has a Distinguished Thesis Award from Missouri State University.
About the distinguished thesis award
This award is given to graduate students in their respective departments. Under the advisement of Dr. Kevin Evans, Weichert received the award in the mathematics, physical sciences and engineering category.
To be chosen, the thesis must be nominated and reviewed by the Graduate Council Scholarship Committee at the university.
The committee noted that all nominated theses this year were impressive, so receiving the award was a great honor for Weichert.
Bumps in the road
Weichert’s project, entitled ” Cyclostratigraphic Trends of δ13C in Upper Cambrian Strata, Great Basin, USA: Implications for Astronomical Forcing” required a tedious research process.
While many of his peers were conducting local research, Weichert’s project included several weeks of field work in remote areas of Utah and Nevada.
Weichert also had to apply for external funding and find access to a suitable laboratory.
After conducting the research, Weichert analyzed all of the geochemical data. He identified this as the most difficult part of the process.
“There were a lot of long, stressful days where even though I had been working for 12 hours, I felt like I was not making any progress,” Weichert said. “It was after putting in 60 plus hours per week during the winter break before graduation that I finally had a breakthrough and knew that I was going to make it.”
Now a graduated environmental geologist, Weichert hopes the award will push him in the right direction for pursuing a PhD.
After the tedious experience with his thesis project, Weichert still has a passion for the road less traveled.
“I’ve never had much interest in the ‘easy’ geological problems,” Weichert said. “In fact, I started rock climbing 10 years ago to make sure no rocks are out of my reach.”