Daniel Gugliotta, a student at Eastern New Mexico University, has always enjoyed looking for rocks and fossils.
"I chose to major in environmental science and minor in geology because when I was a senior in high school, I took a class on civil engineering and water resources," Daniel says. "The instructor had earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science, so I decided it would be an interesting field to go into with opportunities to work outside with interesting scientific concepts."
Daniel's father has a degree in geology, which is what Daniel attributes to his liking for rocks and fossils.
"At this moment I am undecided on what direction to go in a career because there are many career options with an environmental science degree," he says. "I am open to opportunities working in career paths like with a federal or state agency, in the mining industry or for any private firms.
"I hope to improve our communities through educating people on environmental issues and to support more environmentally-friendly practices through my work," he adds.
His advice for potential environmental science majors is to "look into the many career opportunities that are available with a degree in environmental science, to apply for internships and to search for other opportunities to gain experience."
Daniel says that he's enjoyed a lot of his geology classes, but his favorite class at Eastern was Greg Senn's "Jewelry Making" course. "My knowledge from my background in geology helped me with several projects," he says. "I think that a creative outlet is beneficial to many people, especially students dealing with the stress of college."
Daniel currently works as a lab assistant for Dr. James Constantopoulos in the Geology Program, where he helps instruct geology lab classes and assist students with any questions.
The Dean's List member, who expects to graduate in May of 2021, has been honored by the New Mexico Geological Society and is a member of the Wesley Foundation Leadership Team.
"[The Wesley Foundation] is a campus ministry that provides services to students of ENMU of all faiths," Daniel explains. "We offer a free laundry room, kitchen facility and study areas; we also serve a free lunch to ENMU students and staff every Wednesday as well as a free dinner on Sunday evenings."
In his role as president of the ENMU Environmental Club, he leads the group in helping out with science fairs and volunteering for Eastern in Action. The organization also adopted a one-mile segment of Highway 70, which they are responsible for keeping clean.
Daniel chose to attend Eastern after visiting the campus during his senior year of high school. "I decided to come here because of the reasonable tuition and fees, the availability of scholarships and the small class sizes.
"Studying at a smaller university has given me the opportunity to build professional relationships with my professors that wouldn't be possible at a larger school where many classes take place in giant lecture halls," he adds.
His favorite part about being a Greyhound is the professors and the friends he's had an opportunity to make, whom he meets regularly to work on projects together in the Golden Student Success Center.
Daniel was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and volcanic fields, it was a good place to add to his interest in both geology and the natural world. His mother works as a nurse for Santa Fe Public Schools, and his father is currently an IT technician at Adobe Acres Elementary School in the South Valley of Albuquerque.
His hobbies include cooking, hiking, camping and collecting interesting rocks, minerals and fossils. "I also enjoy reading articles on science and history," Daniel says. "Once I begin working in a more permanent position, I hope to be able to do more woodworking, automotive work and gardening."
The Greyhound worked at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico for two summers. The backpacking camp, located within the Sangre de Cristo mountain range southwest of Raton, allowed him to spend time outside hiking, backpacking and learning about Northern New Mexico's rich and vibrant history.