May 23, 2018

Find Your Path This Summer With Paths Through Science

Posted by AGU Career Center

Recently, we highlighted three exceptional scientists from three different continents. Though their paths led them in different directions, their passion for science connects them.

Drew Feustel, now an astronaut and currently aboard the International Space Station, was formerly a mechanic who first became interested in geosciences while attending community college near Detroit, Michigan. After graduation, he had to choose between science or automotive design, but ultimately followed his instinct and chased geoscience. This led him to complete a masters and then a doctoral degree that would pave the way to his current career as an astronaut. He believes that if he can do it, anyone can!

Likewise, fellow Astronaut Alexander Gerst from Germany didn’t know what he wanted to do in high school, but unsuspectingly found his passion for geosciences through a backpacking adventure in New Zealand. After seeing a large volcanic crater from the top of a mountain, he was hooked and wanted to know more about his surroundings. This started his path in geosciences and would later lead him to become an astronaut!

Zama Katamzi-Joseph also shares a passion for science. She has devoted her life to studying atmospheric winds and their influence on gravity waves in the ionosphere. She was told at a young age that she was bad at math and should have gone into a different field, however, she had watched the movie Armageddon, was inspired to go into the space sciences. Nothing was going to stop her! She now works with SANSA, the South African National Space Agency.

Whether it be taking a geoscience class in college, embarking on a trip to volcanic craters, or seeing a dynamic movie about space, every path through science is unique, but paved with the same passion and intrinsic curiosity for unearthing the mystery of our surroundings. Geoscience is not for geniuses or the select few, geoscience is for all of us. As we see through these interviews, becoming a geoscientist is possible for everyone with passion and a drive to advance our knowledge about Earth and the cosmos.

Sharing Your Path & Finding Others’

If you are interested in sharing your own path, whether you are an established professional, reach out to me at njanick@agu.org and I’d be happy to share your story. In addition to featuring you in Paths Through Science profiles, I am also looking for 2018 AGU Fall Meeting Attendees to give brief presentations about their jobs at the AGU Career Center. We’ll be calling this program, “Paths Through Science Live!” Get in touch with me today so that I can get you on the schedule early!

And for those not yet ready to share their own path, but who are interested in sharing the paths of their mentors and colleagues, please take a look at the webinar we did with the AGU Centennial Team called, “AGU Narratives: Telling the Story of Our Science.” It has some useful tips on how to get started.

Nathaniel Janick is the AGU Career Services Coordinator.