Sabina Thomas - Geology
Geology & Biology
I grew up in Germany and got all my degrees at the Technical University of Berlin (former West-Berlin, Germany). I worked at MIT, and the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France and, I love to travel and continue to commute between Europe and the US.
What have you learned while teaching at B-W?:
That you have almost everything you could wish for. Most of the faculty I have close contacts with do fabulous work, far beyond their duties. They are driven and passionate. What other profession can claim to be working in such a fruitful environment?
What inspired you to get into college teaching?:
My mom was a teacher, and as a student I had always admired college instructors. I also realized that in college you would be surrounded with people who are used to thinking and that differences in opinion would be—at least for the most part—carried out as mental arguments and not as fist fights.
Describe the ways in which you mentor students interested in your department:
Can’t say much—there is only a minor in geology. But I tell them about the universal applicability of geologic and scientific knowledge, about the antiquity of our planet and how short a human life span is compared to that. I want them to know that this is our home planet, and that we need to be stewards of our home.
If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?:
Warden in a National Park, or working in a flower shop
What do students like best about your class?:
It depends on the class; most students get hooked when they can connect actual events—unfortunately often disasters--with the class content, such as hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, or weather in general. Students also like using GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment in the Geo-Orienteering class—you know exactly where you are on planet Earth!