FEATURED EMPLOYEE: Meghan Stahl – Geologist, Most interesting person in the world?
A montage of highlights from Meghan Stahl’s inexhaustible list of hobbies reads like the script from one of the “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials. She enjoys whitewater rafting, kayaking, tour biking, skydiving, scuba diving, snowboarding, archery, horseback riding, tanning animal skins, hiking, carving ornate gourds and motorcycle trips.
She has climbed Mt. Fuji (Japan), Mauna Loa (Hawaii), and Mt. Washington (New Hampshire). She has snorkeled the mid-Atlantic rift and descended into a vent volcano in Iceland. She competed on her high school’s robotics team and later became a mentor. She spent nearly 8 years mudlogging on gas and oil rigs. Her favorite drink is Haitian Coca Cola. She has an “adopted” Amish family.
Yes, if there was a “Most Interesting Woman in the World” casting call this adventure-seeking geologist could easily get the part. Or, more appropriately: Most Interesting Person. Because, for Meghan, gender is a moot point when it comes to pursuing one’s passions.
“I just love to get my hands dirty and think through projects,” she said. “It’s how I’m wired. If it involves building things or anything mechanical, I can do it.”
While life today may be brimming with thrills, it wasn’t always that way. Meghan grew up in a very small, close-knit town in Massachusetts. Kindergarten through 12th grade was all in the same building with just 600 kids in attendance. She “wasn’t a fan” of school and was anxious to put those days behind her. She was ready to shake up the status quo and seek out adventure. Coincidentally, it was on the school playground that her purpose and career path started to reveal itself.
“I found a cracked rock on the playground at school when I was in second grade,” she said. “I broke it open and discovered what looked like gold on the inside. I was hooked. I later learned that the ‘gold’ was decomposing mica; the rock is still displayed on my dresser at home.”
That serendipitous discovery set in motion a lifelong love for rocks. She went on to earn a B.S. in Geology and minor in Geography from Calvin College. She started planning trips around her geological interests. She amassed an impressive rock collection that continues to grow as family and friends bring her mementoes from their adventures. Today, she serves as a Geologist at V3 Companies where some of her responsibilities include performing field investigations by logging Geoprobe soil borings and low-flow groundwater sampling in the Chicago area; and in Haiti include downhole Gamma/Resistivity and Spontaneous Potential logging, and magnetic resonance and electromagnetic resistivity tomography to further evaluate sub-surface conditions.
“I plan vacations around cool rocks and geology,” she admitted. “For example, I once booked a ticket to Japan in hopes of experiencing an earthquake. Unfortunately, there was no activity while I was there. I’m still waiting to check that off my bucket list.”
Other items on that list?
“I have a big life dream to paddle the intercostal seaway from the mouth of the Chesapeake to Florida, a 1,500 mile journey. I also have my sights set on hiking the Appalachian Trail, and I’m dying to see a volcanic explosion.”