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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

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Meet Meredith Love

I graduated from USC with my Bachelors in Geology and German in May 2017. My four
years of undergrad included working as a lab technician in Dr. Barbeau’s lab, volunteering in the
community, and falling in love with the city of Columbia. Once I graduated, I started teaching
middle school science and then I got an amazing job opportunity at South Carolina’s
Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Division,
where I directed the clean-up of oil spills from USTs across the state of South Carolina. I worked
alongside of contractors, cities, and neighbors across the state of South Carolina to help clean
their groundwater. It was a really fulfilling job that allowed me to see the tangible ways being a
Geologist helps people. While working at DHEC, I joined an EPA task force to develop
deliverables to states and stakeholders about the transport and fate of different and newer
contaminants. I went to a conference as a part of the task force and was reminded of how
much I wanted to be doing my own research and continue my undergraduate work within
zircon geochronology.

          In August 2021, I started my master’s degree working again in Dr. David Barbeau’s
Tectonics and Sedimentation Lab. My research utilizes zircon geochronology and Uranium –
Lead age dating to better understand the amalgamation of the southern Appalachians. We have
preliminary age data from different suspect units in the Appalachians, and I am using a variety
of tools to scrutinize those ages. This research offers new insights to models of Appalachian
terrane accretion which could impact the way we understand terrane accretion in other parts
of the world. It also offers the possibility to learn and standardize a method of age data scrutiny
to have the most reliable data possible. I really enjoy being so close to my research area. I get
to hike and camp amidst the rocks I study. It’s also helped engaging with students about rocks
they might have already seen and connect that to the rocks and minerals we’re identifying in

          During graduate school, I have gotten the opportunity to teach a variety of classes and
learn about more precisely what I am most passionate about, which has greatly influenced my
career goals. I have learned that I enjoy working on geochronology but am very interested in
expanding the ways we can use geochronology to understand other rocks. I am planning to
apply to PhD programs to study that will help expand my knowledge about geochronology
including using different methods and different study areas. My hope is to eventually teach as
a lecturer while working for an environmental company or agency. I have a passion for
educating students while also taking tangible action to protect the environment. Between my
experience working at DHEC and getting my PhD, I will be set up well to achieve these goals. It
goes without saying that my time at University of South Carolina and working with Dr. Barbeau
have influenced me greatly. I feel extremely grateful to call this place home.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.