UF Alum Works to Connect Gators
When CAROLYN LUYSTERBURG ’11 was eight, her father took the family on a tour of 20 national parks. Stunned by their beauty, Luysterburg discovered a love for nature and science.
So, when the opportunity came for her to register for a national parks course at the University of Florida 10 years later, she jumped at the chance — and fell in love with geology.
“Geology is the science that you can use to understand all the sciences — math, physics, chemistry and biology — to understand the earth,” Luysterburg said.
Today, Luysterburg is an exploration geologist for the energy company Shell, where she evaluates the feasibility of deep-water wells, while her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, CIRO LUYSTERBURG ’11, works for another major energy company, ExxonMobil.
After graduation the couple relocated to Houston, where Luysterburg launched the UF Houston Geological Society to provide a place for fellow UF alumni to network. With this new outpost of the Gator Nation, she is advancing the sense of connectedness that drew her to UF in the first place.
“I absolutely love the Gator Nation and the spirit,” she said. “I travel internationally for work often and find Gators just about everywhere.”
Luysterburg is especially appreciative of her UF mentor Jon Martin’s advice. Martin, a geology professor who specializes in chemical hydrogeology, encouraged Luysterburg to apply for internships and present at conferences, then continued to be her advisor through grad school.
“He taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to,” Luysterburg said. “Those lessons are still with me today. He made a huge difference in my life.”
She’s proud to be at Shell, where she relishes the opportunity to collaborate with people from around the world.
“There’s just incredible diversity when you work for one of these large international companies like Shell,” Luysterburg said.
In addition to conducting international research at Shell, Luysterburg is actively trying to connect alumni with their alma mater through the UF Houston Geological Society.
“I want to encourage alumni to get involved and give back to department and sponsor students,” Luysterburg said. “We don’t realize when we’re in school, but tons of alumni are continuously supporting us. We need to do the same for the next generation.”
Luysterburg was honored for her efforts when she received the Horizon Award at the college’s Evening of Excellence. The award recognizes professional accomplishment or service to the university by a recent alumnus or alumna.
“UF taught me many things, but my most valuable lesson was learning how to be both a team player and an inspiring leader,” she said. “I am proud to be a Florida Gator, and I hope I can make my university proud too.”