Outstanding Seniors in the College of Science: Danielle Schwartz

May 11, 2023
Danielle Schwartz

Danielle Schwartz, Geosciences

This spring, departments in the University of Arizona's College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Our final outstanding senior is Danielle Schwartz from the department of Geosciences.

Danielle Schwartz

College of Science: Why did you choose your area of study?
Schwartz: I chose Geosciences after taking Intro to Oceanography in my Freshman Spring semester. I actually came in as a freshman studying English, which goes to show just how much of a 180 you can do in college. Sitting in that class, suddenly everything just clicked. Growing up, I was never really encouraged to pursue sciences outside of standard math, biology, physics, chemistry, etc., so I never really took much interest in one in particular. There were aspects of each that I liked but none that drew me in completely. With Geosciences, I can do all these sciences while connecting them to the physical world around us and how WE can make a difference in it. I love Geosciences because it combines all my passions into one.  

COS: Tell us about a class or research project you really enjoyed
Schwartz: Working with Dr. Diane Thompson in the Tropical Climate & Corals Reefs Laboratory has been the highlight of my undergraduate career. Similar to tree rings, and ice cores, we can use cores collected from corals to reconstruct and learn about past climates. For my research project, I was analyzing the skeletal geochemistry of Corals grown in the Biosphere 2 ocean during an experimental ocean acidification event. From this work, we have more deeply understood how coral growth responds to stress and a changing environment. This project has taught me to think smarter, work harder, and truly find and pursue what I love. 

COS: What is one specific memory from your time at UA that you'll cherish forever?
Schwartz: I’ll always cherish my first time standing on the Biosphere 2 scientific beach, looking out at the ocean. As someone who grew up in Tucson and never lived near an ocean, I was so overcome with gratitude and love that I really started to cry. I cried because I knew I found part of my life's purpose.

COS: What is next for you after graduation?
Schwartz: After graduation, I’ll begin working on Catalina Island with the Catalina Island Marine Institute as a Marine Biology instructor. In addition to ocean sciences, I’ve always had a passion for youth education and I cannot wait to combine these two passions working in a beautiful location.