Geology graduate driven by curiosity
Published May 2018
Kayleigh Alme was standing on a long-extinct volcanic cone. It was the first day of a spring break field trip for the NDSU geology student.
The professor asked the group of students, “What do you see?”
Alme scanned the ground around her. Subtle features, that to a layperson would go unnoticed, began to register in her mind.
“We’re standing on a fault,” she realized.
It was the first time Alme felt like a real geologist. Her natural curiosity had led her to that point, and it will lead her across the Fargodome stage Saturday. She will receive her degree in geology during NDSU’s spring commencement ceremonies.
Alme’s curiosity began as a child on road trips from her home in Bismarck, North Dakota. Why do rocks have different colors? Why are there mountains in the west but not in North Dakota? How does weather work? Why are there different plants in Arizona and North Dakota?
“I might have driven my parents nuts,” Alme said. “But that curiosity from when I was little hasn’t stopped. And the faculty at NDSU have helped nurture that curiosity.”
Alme was a member of the Geology Club and served as president for two years. She took field trips to Death Valley, the Black Hills and northern Minnesota. She also completed a field course in Southern California.
She helped spark curiosity in younger students. Her science outreach and education included Science Olympiad, a science-based competition for middle and high school students; Expanding Your Horizons, a workshop that helps young women develop career interests in STEM-related fields; and her personal favorite, Darwin Day.
Alme will intern at Barr Engineering in Duluth, Minnesota, before pursuing a career in mining or environmental industries.