A Barton High School student discovered her life's calling while attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's inaugural geology camp held earlier this summer on the UALR campus.

Nyala Jefferson has the desire to become a politician to help solve the world's problems. She says the study of geology can be used to “fix this world.”

A Barton High School student discovered her life's calling while attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's inaugural geology camp held earlier this summer on the UALR campus.

Nyala Jefferson has the desire to become a politician to help solve the world's problems. She says the study of geology can be used to “fix this world.”

“Geology helps us to understand about climate change, global warming, melting polar ice caps and how we can help fix the Earth's problems,” said Jefferson. “I also want to become a politician, so I can help make bills to help the planet.”

Jefferson was among five Arkansas students and one of three students from Barton High School to complete the first-ever geology camp program held June 11-17. The other Barton students were Frederick Carthon of Lexa, a BHS freshman; and Hailey Nearns, also of Lexa and a freshman at Barton.

UALR's George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology sponsored the free 1-week summer enrichment program. The geology camp provided participants a look at the life of a geologist. Students studied such topics as field mapping, mineralogy, fossils, topographical mapping and geological time.

Two assistant professors in the University's Department of Earth Sciences – Dr. Michael DeAngelis and Dr. Rene Shroat – created the camp. The camp was the direct result of the enthusiasm of students in other engineering camps expressed their enthusiasm for the geology segments of those camps.

“We wanted to give the students an overview of geology concepts in the classroom as well as hands-on experience and field excursions that will give them a real-world experience,” stated DeAngelis.

The campers met with UALR geology students and professors and Admissions officials who showed them how to prepare for college.

Outside the classroom, the high school students participated in field trips to Hot Springs National Park, Mid-America Science Museum, Coleman Quartz Mine, Fourche Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, the bauxite mines in Saline County and several field mapping locations near Cabot.