osage orange fights, firefly capturing, the smell and taste of honeysuckle, long dirt roads, goats' milk, the warmth of a horse's bare back, oyster beds, sonic booms: my childhood on the Chesapeake Bay. I grew up on a back-to-the-land farm structured by my mother’s love of the Whole Earth Catalog and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and my father’s spacecraft missions (e.g.; five lunar orbiters, Viking, HALOE) as one of NASA’s first hired aerospace engineers through the height of the Cold War era.
shuttling between New York, Paris, and South Beach: my formative years. as a model I worked for magazines such as Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Spin and did campaigns for Bulgari, Estee Lauder, and others. It was both a wonderful and terrible way to make a living; it did allow for a lot of travel.
books. study. excavation. Amazonia, Antarctica, Athens, Belize, El Salvador, Hawaii, Panama, Papua New Guinea: my earlier archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork. I have some unfinished research into apocryphal eruptions of Merapi volcano on Java and in Latin America and their impact on archaeological interpretations. I'm also keen to pick up on a thread of my Wenner-Gren and Fulbright-funded doctoral fieldwork in Panama to focus on obsidian sourcing and further oral history work. I am the Principal Investigator for a National Geographic grant to examine archaeological and geoheritage in Patagonia at Chaiten, Chile. through this and with a fantastic, transdisciplinary team I am examining a rock art cave in a context of repeated volcanic events and extreme sea-level change.
my research focuses on disaster, perception, and environmental change over the very long term in human history. as an archaeologist, I use volcanism as an example of dramatically mutable environments that humans have experienced for millions of years. contemporary climate change, nuclear power, and space exploration form underlying themes in my current work. I find the earth sciences and social sciences indivisible. I'm delighted to be currently teaching as a Visiting Asst Professor of Environmental Science at the Gallatin School of New York University; I take delight in the creativity and the utter disrespect for disciplinary boundaries that characterize Gallatin students and faculty.
one frustration I have with academic writing entails the inability to fully embrace or incorporate the quirkiness and creativity entailed in the interface between humans and the natural world. my work has intersected with contemporary art in recent years in ways that have have been highly meaningful for me as an outlet for some of these desires. I will provide a thorough treatment of these ongoing collaborations on this site at some point. for a current collaboration, I am delighted and honored to receive a creative commission for the Creating Earth Futures initiative from the Royal Holloway Centre for Geohumanities to examine the entanglement of narratives of volcanoes with social upheaval and climate changes. I am also a recent laureate of the Make Our Planet Great Again program, through which I collaborated with the Laboratoire de Geographie Physique, Pantheon-Sorbonne.
35 marathons run on 4 continents to date, including the Antarctica and Great Wall of China races but excluding any races in South America or Australia despite having spent a fair amount of time on each. Kilimanjaro is next on my list for international marathons. I will complete my 15th NYC marathon and get guaranteed entry to it for life, which brings me joy.
I completed my PhD at Columbia then taught at Brown and Stanford. I am currently a part of the Cities, Cultures, Climate Change working group at the Institute for Public Knowledge as well as its partner, The Climate Working Group. I’m beginning new work with WAVE: SPICE (Warnings and Alerts during Volcanic Emergencies: Scientific Practice Informed by Community Experience) with a focus on the Pozzuoli area of Naples and Campi Flegrei caldera and believe strongly in its interdisciplinary focus on entwining predictive sciences, study of the past, and the arts to communicate environmental risk to communities regarding environmental events.
should you have an interest, my academic cv contains hotlinks to some of my scholarly publications. I also am active in trying to convey archaeological perspectives on environmental disasters outside of academia, such as I did in the symposium on environment in the post-election US that formed a part of a response by the Petzel Gallery in New York titled, 'We need to talk'.
I'm proud to be in remarkable and inspiring company in this blog post encouraging women to enter the earth sciences: It's all for you, girl! as well as to have a mention and photo in Scientific American's 'How to find a woman scientist' discussion of a new database that seeks to fight the poor visibility of women in STEM and advocates for diversity and equity in the sciences.
RECENT OR UPCOMING:
I was interviewed recently about the fissure eruptions in Hawaii and some of my thoughts about nature-culture and the double-edge sword of creation and destruction that volcanism represents, which you can read here along with interesting thoughts from other researchers. And this piece from Gizmodo Earther folds together some of my thoughts with those of some favorite volcano researchers regarding why people choose to live near volcanoes.
I gave recent academic talks at the SPEAP program at Sciences Po in Paris (March 21), the Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society workshop at Cambridge University (April 13-16), and will be at the Volcanic Ash in the Earth System workshop at the Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich (May 9-10).
I was proud to be a moderator for the Guernica Magazine special issue on climate fiction in New York on April 23 (if you haven’t read the wonderful Helen Phillip’s story, ‘The Disaster Store’, do!) and will be part of a panel called ‘Human / Nature. A discussion on art, urban life & nature’ on Tue April 30 (6-8) at the SAPAR Contemporary gallery with artists Ming Fay and Skowmon Hastanan, curator Alex Chang, and members of the EPA (Environmental Performance Agency) Andrea Haeenggi and Chris Kennedy.
I’m always happy for new collaborations and conversations.
IMAGE CREDITS: the images on the home/gallery page are all taken by me. for one reason or another each one is meaningful to me. they will change at whim, somewhat like their meaning. do scroll through them and feel free to ask me about them.