My father was a huge influence on my professional development.  Even though it took me a long time (until my mid-30's) to figure out what I really wanted to do.  He was a forest ranger in the Sierra Mountains and then a Soil Science technician at UC Riverside.  He took my brothers and I camping and out to his field sites where he was conducting experiments quite a lot.  Growing up in California (1, see map), there is a lot of opportunity to be exposed to some great and varied nature.   He definitely instilled a love of nature and science even if I didn't know it when  I was younger.

A  Long Road

This is a map of places where I have lived (numbers) because of work and where I have done field work (black ovals).  I have had the good fortune to have traveled, lived, and worked all over the US.  It has enriched my life and made me a better scientist.  I guess this is why it has always felt like a long road finding the career that I feel passionate about.   

After finishing my BS (Environmental Science) and first MS (Soil Science), I took my degrees on the road to Pendleton, OR (2, map) as a Physical Science Technician with the USDA.  After a year of that, I took my first consulting job in Wall, NJ (3, map).  I moved back to California for more consulting experience (1, map).  I was exposed to a wide variety of water related fieldwork that included drilling, coring, well construction, remedial feasibility testing, logging,  and sampling.  It was an amazing experience, but I was on the road constantly doing fieldwork.  After several years of this work, I decided to do something different....go back to school in my mid 30's.  

I got my Geology MS degree in 2006 from Georgia State University (4, map) while doing my thesis fieldwork at Glacier National Park in Montana.  In 2010, I finished my Ph.D. from the University of Arizona (5, map).  I spend several summers in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario Canada doing fieldwork for my dissertation.   I was so happy that my parents could make it to my graduation.  My dad was in a great deal of pain, but he insisted in being there.   I remember seeing him stand and yell for me as they called my name.  It was a very special moment to see him so proud.

I took a post doctoral position at Duke University, which ment that I was in a panic to finish my dissertation ahead of time.   I remember turning in my complete dissertation to the University of Arizona and hitting the road to Raleigh/Durham, NC the next day (6, map).  At Duke, I started working on sampling shallow groundwater at peoples homes that are close to oil/gas operations and hydraulic fracturing.  This was a natural extension of my dissertation work and a big part of my research ever since.

After one year at Duke, I landed meaningful Employment in California (1, map)!

Though I dislike the administrative part of my work, I find a great deal of reward in working with students, doing research, and teaching.  

When I think about what it took to get me to this point in my life, it definitely felt like it was a long road.   Im grateful to my dad and family, and all the people that provided inspiration, help, and an occasional kick in the butt.  A friend of mine drew me as a geology superhero as a gift for my graduation.  Though I hardly see myself as a superhero, it's perhaps a nice goal.........to be a better self....do good for others....

The road keeps going!

The Science & 

Mathematics University

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