From early on in my academic career, I wanted to be a scientist. I love the intricate processes that silently work behind the scenes of seemingly ordinary things—from how sand forms to why Slurpees are both frozen and fizzy.

And I was well on my way to becoming an academic.

As a graduate student, I won numerous awards for my research, including an NSF graduate research fellowship. I traveled the world for research, spending several months in Antarctica and multiple field seasons in Alaska.

But half way through my program, I realized that the research life wasn't for me. The part of science that I loved the most was communication: blogging about field research, presenting posters, giving conference talks, working with kids.

In 2015 I was selected a AAAS mass media fellow and spent the summer working as a reporter at National Geographic—and I've never looked back.


 
Getting ready to go to sleep in my snow trench I dug during survival training in Antarctica.

Getting ready to go to sleep in my snow trench I dug during survival training in Antarctica.