Scaling the Mountain

Karuna Sah

Karuna Sah ’19 

Growing up in the Himalayan foothills, Karuna Sah ’19 has always appreciated the great outdoors. Below, she discusses her experiences performing geology fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic, the need to take risks, and what her family taught her about hard work and the natural world.


Earth sciences

Clubs and Organizations:

Resident Advisor, Outing Club (treasurer), Climbing Club (treasurer) and Geology Club (trips manager).


Hugh B. & Helen K. Woodward Scholarship.

Favorite book: 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Favorite movies: 

The Godfather and The Matrix. 

On choosing a major:

Growing up in the Himalayan foothills, I’ve always loved the mountains, and I've wanted to pursue earth sciences for as long as I can remember. I love being outdoors and learning the science behind what drives the Earth and all its processes.

On choosing Dickinson:

I chose Dickinson because of its small, liberal-arts atmosphere, small student-to-faculty ratio, green/sustainable practices and holistic approach to learning.

Favorite place on campus

The rock wall.   

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Mac ’n cheese.

Favorite class/learning experience:

My fieldwork experience in the Canadian Arctic has most definitely been the highlight of the past year. I got to camp on sea ice, do geology and interact with the Inuit community. It was incredible seeing nature at work and witnessing some of the Earth's unique processes on that great a magnitude. I was able apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting and narrow down my research interests. 

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Richard Feynman.

Biggest influences:

My parents and my uncle. They gave me a passion for learning and taught me to work hard and to strive to live as one with nature and the mountains.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

You have to take risks. Push yourself and try to put yourself outside your comfort zone.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I want to pursue research in the field of volcanology and glaciology. I want to go back to the Himalayas and do research there.

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Published June 16, 2017