#PROFspective: Geology Major James Milward

James standing outside.

Today we feature James Milward, a junior Geology major with minors in Geographic Information Science and Geography from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). James is a first-generation college student and has a passion for climate change.

Has there been a club or group that made you feel like Rowan was home?

My freshman year I played baseball here and those guys were awesome but I could not stick it out after freshman year. But the group of guys were phenomenal to hang out with and a lot of fun. Now I am in the rock climbing club and it is a bit more laid back. It’s a couple days a week that we hang out and we meet up to go on weekend trips but not recently because of COVID-19.

James standing outside.

Why did you choose your major?

I love being outdoors, I love hiking, I love nature photography and geology is very hands on. Everything is outside but we haven’t really been able to reap the benefits of that because we cant meet up. But as a career I am hoping that I will be able to spend a lot more time outside. That is something that I am looking forward to. A lot of my professors have done a ton of field work in different parts of the world and different parts of the country. That includes backpacking to obscure locations and stuff like that.

James sitting on a rock.

What do you want to do in your field?

I have a concentration in climate science so I am interested in climate change. I am interested in ice melting and things of those sorts. One place in the world I would like to go is Iceland. That would be a miracle if I got to go there for work or just to see it. 

What is your favorite part of a typical day at Rowan?

Typical COVID day I get to wake up 10 minutes before my class, so I like that. Then I go back to sleep. Typical Rowan day was being able to wake up and see how miserable my best friends were to wake up early along side me. Also being able to see all your friends in the morning before/after class and go get food with them. The food here is actually really good. 

James sitting on a stone.

Are there any professors that made you feel like you were cared for?

Yeah, all of them. My major is super small. There is not many people in geology so we are all a tight knit group of people. There is super low teacher-to-student ratio and the professors here are definitely super passionate about what they do and make sure that we always know what is going on at all times. Our chairman is really good, he is always on top of what is going on and making sure that we are comfortable with any changes that are being made. He acts like a second advisor to us about the courses in the future so he’s awesome.

James standing outside.

Anything happy or rewarding about your major?

With the climate science concentration I am hoping that I can make a change or help lead towards a change. Since I am learning so much about the climate at least I can advocate for a change and that’s nice to do.

Anything about your major that people may not know?

It is not just rocks – that is what everyone says, you definitely study rocks but it is more than that. The creation of Earth, the process of a changing Earth, and changes in climate. 

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Story and photography by:  Stephanie Batista, sophomore Music Industry major

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