Published: Nov. 17, 2020 By

Adam Forreider had been working toward a career in business when he began to doubt it was the right path for him. 

Adam Forreider

While studying business at Western Michigan University, the junior happened to see a report that CU Boulder’s geology program was ranked No. 1 in the world. The moment was a catalyst, reminding him how much he loved science and studying natural phenomena. Forreider decided to come to CU Boulder and study geology.

“When I started college in Michigan, I thought I liked business,” he said. “But after an introspective look, I knew business wasn’t for me, and actually my grades reflected that. Geology seemed like the best program for me. It’s actually my first love.”

Forreider transferred to CU Boulder and started classes last spring, excited to start working on his new major in the university’s elite geology program. He was looking forward to an on-campus experience, attending classes and labs, walking across the quad to Norlin Library, checking out the many clubs and organizations at CU. 

His knowledge of geology came in handy when he got a job at a shop in downtown Boulder that sold crystals, fossils and exotic rocks from around the world.

Just as Forreider settled in to his new campus experience, the world was hit with the coronavirus. All classes went remote in mid-March.

“That blindsided me,” he said. “But I was able to get ahead on my classes before everything shut down. It was a very strange experience when the labs went online. There’s a bit of a disconnect to learning everything online, but I would rather be online than risk getting COVID.”

Sometimes college students take a winding path as they figure out what to focus on in school. Looking back, Forreider realized the indications for his interest in geology were always there.

He recalls a vivid experience when he was kid and on a road trip with his parents. “In going through some of my kid stuff that my parents have saved, there were signs,” he said.  

Such as the box of carefully wrapped minerals he demanded his parents buy for him from a roadside rock shop. He was always collecting rocks and minerals.

“Apparently, that’s where my love for geology started,” he said. “And I’ve always loved science. All through my childhood I watched science and nature documentaries on TV.”

The course credits he earned studying business will be put to good use as his minor. The combination of geology and business can open many doors. After he graduates, he may get an advanced degree.

“A geology major with a business minor can get you many places in industry,” he said. “There are a huge number of fields you can go into within geology. What I really like is minerology. I can get a job in labs doing thin section work determining what makes up a rock. It’s very complicated, but neat stuff.” 

In the meantime, he’s confident about his decision to come to CU. As a bonus, his parents now also live in Colorado. And Boulder’s climate of blue-sky days suits him.

“I like how sunny it is all the time here,” he said. “It’s like 300 days of sun here. In Michigan it’s 300 days of clouds.”