Blogging his way through geoscience studies Jesper Dramsch is building a fan base for Way of the Geophysicist, his regular blog (dramsch.net) on his experience in the geoscience community to date. Topics include discussion of science, as well as some more philosophical and personal thoughts. Jesper is a Master student at Hamburg University currently with a student assignment at O+P Geotechnik, Hamburg. His work experience to date also includes internships with Fugro Seismic Imaging and Schlumberger. What inspired you to start a blog? My initial idea was to share my internship experience with Fugro Seismic Imaging (FSI). Soon this transitioned into writing about geo-related topics I found interesting, especially, when I had to work my way into and do the research; those were articles I liked. Getting into the habit of writing has helped me immensely in my studies. Who is your target audience? I write from the perspective of a grad student. Essentially it’s a mix of people studying geoscience, young professionals and seniors that are interested in the views of those just starting into the world of geoscience. What kind of feedback to you get? There’s a wide variety of feedback. In my comment section and on Twitter I get some responses. One of my articles has been published in a book 52 things you should know about geophysics (Eds. Matt Hall and Evan Bianco, Agile Geoscience). Some of my fellow students even bought the book. At Schlumberger I got an email from someone higher up in the company, who struck up a conversation about my latest post. All in all, I received very positive feedback. Are there many other student/postgrad geo-bloggers out there, or many in the industry as a whole? In my experience, there are quite a few geobloggers. However, it appears to me that there are exceptionally few student bloggers. Although it serves as great exposition to new topics and a wider audience, I often hear about a lack of confidence about publishing on the world wide web. Have you had any comments from your employers and work colleagues? In fact there have been many comments from fellow students about articles. As I mentioned
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before, there was even an email conversation about an article I published with a colleague. Another nice moment was at an interview with OMV, where we got into a conversation about my article in a book and subsequently my blog. What do your family and partner think about the blog? They’re happy I do something that I like. Generally, it’s a nice way for them to keep up with current topics I work with and think about. I know some of the more technologically inclined are even following my blog. What are your favourite contributions to the blog so far? I have written a piece on moss billboards to filter dirt particles for my Facebook page ‘The Earth Story’, which I also shared on my blog. Of course, my more philosophical post ‘Is working in O&G amoral?’ is high on the list, as it was printed in a book. Are there any disadvantages to maintaining a blog, e.g. a lot of time? It does take some dedication and time to write a blog, but it’s less than one might think. Something that is much worse is the so-called ‘imposter syndrome’. Every time I hit ‘publish’ on my blog, I wait for the huge outcry of knowledgeable people to call me out for my blunders. But fortunately, this has yet to happen. It’s also a hobby at my own expense. There’s no money in it for me. However, the desire to travel to the amazing sites I write about grows with every word I put out there. How do you feel about being so open about your life on the Internet? I don’t feel that this blog is revealing too much. It’s an awesome opportunity to connect with interesting people and learn a whole lot about Earth in the process. I’ve grown up in a digital generation and was taught early on that you should be careful what you put out on the internet. Will you always keep a blog - is it an addiction?! At least I will try. I think I’m contributing to something, a body of science communication and if there’s just one person thinking ‘oh that’s cool’, that counts as a victory. In a sense, yes,
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it is a bit addicting, making me very happy but without the nasty downsides. Can you briefly describe your schooling and career so far? I started very early. In school I took part in statewide science fairs, ranging in topics from ‘Why do we take desert sand for hour glasses?’ to ‘Do volcanic and seismologic activity correlate at Mt Etna’. During graduation year I started taking university classes in geophysics. I continued to do a Bachelor of Science and then went on to do my Master’s degree in geophysics. I stretched the Master’s degree out to take two semesters of additional courses in geology and organized two internships in Oslo, Norway and London. Right now I’m finishing my Master’s thesis in seismic subsalt imaging. What is your career vision? I would love a challenging position that enables me to continuously broaden my horizon and see the world. I have worked in seismic interpolation and would love to continue working in seismic or gather more experience in interpretation in the O&G sector. Do you get involved in EAGE events, local chapters, etc? I held a poster presentation at the EAGE about my Bachelor’s thesis and enjoyed the events of the student chapter very much. During the GAP, the international student geophysics event in Germany hosting 150 or so people, we had the EAGE as a sponsor. I was involved as a main organizer and in rescuing the EAGE booth that got lost in shipping! I also took part in the GeoQuiz but Krakow won. Apart from that I was looking into the EAGE Geophysics Boot Camp this year.