Who am I and what inspires me?
“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”
Barack Obama, 2014
In addition to studying volcanoes, I've also studied glaciers and asteroids, and have a general interest in all things earth science and fluid mechanics. My passion for earth science stems from my love of the outdoors where I'm an avid snowboarder, mountain biker, rock climber and amateur mountaineer. My love for the mountains began as a kid wandering the Berkshire mountains in western Massachusetts where I spent my summers with my parents. When I headed off to university, I began wandering and falling in love with the beautiful mountain ranges of British Columbia. However, my upbringing in the concrete jungles of Northeast New Jersey have never left me so when I can't escape to the mountains, I enjoy exploring the diverse cultures of the city, playing basketball, dancing at concerts, cooking and hanging out with friends and colleagues after a long week of work.
While these varied interests keep my mind and body stimulated, the threat of climate change keeps me focused on a career in the Earth sciences. In high school, I realized that climate change would be the defining challenge for my generation and those to follow. When we consider Darwin's theory of natural selection, that our environment and changes in it selects which species survive versus those that go extinct, then it becomes clear that anthropogenic climate change is one of the greatest threats to our species and all life on Earth. But how to solve this grand challenge while still lifting humans around the world out of poverty? Like generations before mine, who provided us with incredible comforts through technological advancements while also working to protect the environment, I too would like to be a part of the renewable energy solution while finding creative ways to continue supporting technological progress. I switched to Earth Sciences during my undergraduate degree to learn more about the extremely complex global climate system and the key pieces of the puzzle that need to be understood. My undergraduate research work introduced me to the volcano-climate puzzle piece. Over geologic time, volcanoes have built and maintained our atmosphere and continue to modulate it. On shorter time scales rare catastrophic eruptions can induce rapid climate shifts, whereas the cumulative effects of small eruptions can influence climate over decades. Consequently, understanding eruption behaviors of all sizes is one of many crucial processes governing the climate's response to rising levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide over next century and I hope my research helps improve forecasts of climate change.
A day in my life at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2008 - 2014
B.Sc. Geophysics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
APEGBC Undergraduate Achievement Award in Geophysics
2015 - 2021 (Transferred to Ph.D. from M.Sc. in 2017)
Ph.D. Geophysics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
W. H. Matthews Graduate Award
Nominated for Governor General's Gold medal (Canada)
2010 - 2015
Dept. EOAS, University of British Columbia
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jun - Sep, 2014 & Jun - Aug, 2019
2014 - 2016