I'm Brian Oller, and I am a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in sunny San Diego, California, USA. I began this adventure in the small town of Levelland, Texas at South Plains College.
WHAT IS YOUR AREA OF RESEARCH?
I’m a rock hunter at heart. I apply geochemical and isotopic systematics to interpret tectonic processes. My broad focus is concerned with the evolution of the western North American margin. My research sites are the Sierra Nevada mountain range and associated Walker Lane/Eastern California Shear Zone, the California Coast Range Ophiolite, and I have recently submitted a manuscript discussing isotopic, geochemical, and tectonic evidence of continental lithosphere formation from oceanic lithosphere parent beneath the Ferrel Seamount off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.
WHAT IS A FIRST TIME FOR YOU ON THIS EXPEDITION?
3rd scientific research cruise (R/V Tommy Thompson, R/V Sally Ride), first 3d seismic cruise, first time collecting and processing 3D seismic data, first time to sail Puget Sound and JdF Straight.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO LEARN/DISCOVER?
I enjoy tinkering with almost any kind of equipment or gear, so I look forward to getting some “hands on” time with a large 3D array. It’s always fun to collect data and assemble it to tell a story or paint a picture, so as the trip progresses I look forward piecing together the data set and seeing how it develops.
WHY DO YOU LOVE MARINE SCIENCE / GEOSCIENCE?
It provides the opportunity for me to go places I may never have had the chance (or inclination) to visit, such as the Canary Islands. More often than not my travels take me well off the beaten path, away from major population/tourist centers, to enclaves that most people don’t know exist. To top it off, I get to go to sea. To many people, spending weeks on a boat sounds insane. Maybe so, but I’ll ask this: Do you know what color blue the ocean is 500 km from shore? Have you ever seen a full moon rise over a dead calm sea? How about a star lit sky on a moonless night, hundreds of miles from the nearest street light? That’s why I keep coming back, and that’s why I love geoscience.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF!
I’m a USMC veteran, served in Iraq, and started and operated a residential remodeling business in Texas before starting undergraduate studies and moving on to a PhD program.