While working on my master’s thesis in the Gulf of California, I became interested in large-scale questions in plate tectonics and continued my studies as a doctoral student and postdoc in geological oceanography. For my research, I used, taught and sometimes developed analytical techniques for important geochemical methods in the laboratory. In all, I participated in ten research cruises and took one 10,000 foot deep dive in Alvin to the Siqueiros Fracture Zone in the Pacific. But diving in Alvin wasn't my most exciting science moment; that came when I was part of the team that discovered the Lucky Strike hydrothermal vent site, the third hydrothermal vent site found in the Atlantic.

As a scientist, I presented my scientific results in oral and poster presentations at national meetings and in professional journals and I wrote or co-wrote successful proposals to the National Science Foundation. While I was a postdoc at Lamont, I took journalism courses at Columbia University, and in 1994, I left scientific research to focus full-time on emerging projects in science writing and editing.


pelican on Bird Island (Isla de Jorge), Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Writing courses, Columbia University, New York, 1993-1994
Medical Research, Science, and Environment Writing. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
News and Feature Writing. English Department.

Postdoctoral work, 1991-1994
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, 1992-1994.
Oregon State University, Corvallis, 1990-1992

Ph.D., College of Oceanography, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 1990
Major: Oceanography. Integrated minor: Geology, Chemistry, History of Science.
Dissertation: Geochemical Expression of Volcanism in an On-Axis and Intraplate Hotspot, 145 pp.

M.S., Department of Geology, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1985
Major: Geology.
Thesis: Geology and petrology of Isla San Esteban, Gulf of California, Mexico, 78 pp.

B.A., Department of Geology, California State University, Fresno, 1981
Major: Geology. Minors: Biology, Anthropology.

Professional Affiliations

Association of Earth Science Editors

National Association of Science Writers

Society of Environmental Journalists