Growing up in the seismically active, mountainous Pacific Northwest, I knew from a relatively young age that I was interested in pursuing a career in the earth sciences. As a high school student, I worked at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle through a program that focused on earth and space science education. In addition to developing skills in public communication and gaining experience working with diverse groups of museum guests, this job also allowed me to participate in scientific research for the first time. I found that I really enjoyed the opportunity to collect new data and investigate questions that no one had answered before – but I wasn’t sure yet which subfield I wanted to go into.
Right before I started attending Washington University in St. Louis for my undergraduate degree, I read an article called “The Really Big One” by Kathryn Schulz in The New Yorker, which outlined the massive earthquake hazard that the Cascadia Subduction Zone poses to the Pacific Northwest. This article helped convince me to major in geophysics, and I knew that in the future I wanted to be involved in research that could help mitigate these risks by understanding as much as possible about the subduction zone and megathrust earthquakes.
At WashU, I primarily worked in a mineralogy lab with Jill Pasteris, focusing on research into the mineral apatite using Raman spectroscopy. The main project I worked on was an investigation into how to control lead corrosion in pipes that carry drinking water, which is what caused the health catastrophe in Flint, Michigan. I also spent the summer after my junior year as an IRIS intern with Adam Ringler at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I worked on a project about removing wind-induced noise from seismograms to improve data quality. This internship resulted in my senior thesis and my first first-author publication in March 2019, and also motivated me to apply for PhD programs in seismology. I graduated from WashU in May 2019 with a B.A. in Geophysics, and I’m very excited to now be working with Diego Melgar at the University of Oregon on large earthquake research!
In my free time, I enjoy photography, figure skating, playing soccer, playing the clarinet, and cheering on the Seattle Sounders and the St. Louis Blues!