Janine Krippner (PhD Student, University of Pittsburgh)

1Name: Janine Krippner

Job Role: Volcanology Ph.D. Candidate

Organisation: University of Pittsburgh

Education Background:

MSc in volcanology, and BSc in geology at the University of Waikato (New Zealand)

1. What inspired you to take up a career in the Geosciences?

I always loved volcanoes! When I was 13 I realized it was actually something I could do for a career and many years later I am still on that path. I love being outside, travelling, and solving problems, and the environments around volcanoes are absolutely beautiful.

2. Can you give more detail about your path to your current job role?

I realized at a very young age I would need a Ph.D., so after high school I went to university for my Bachelors and Masters degrees. Due to family reasons I moved to Australia for three years and worked as a geologist for Shell. There I got world-class training in geology, leadership, teamwork, and project management. That takes me to where I am now, in my final year of my Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh working on my dream subject – pyroclastic flows!


3. What does your current job role involve?

My Ph.D. research involves using satellite data, and data collected in the field, to study pyroclastic flows on Shiveluch volcano (Kamchatka, Russia) and the Mount St. Helens (Washington,USA) 1980 deposits. I am looking at the different shapes and sizes of the deposits and relating them back to the type of eruption that formed them, and what we can learn about these deposits and eruptions from a safe distance. In my own time I also write about volcanic activity on twitter (@janinekrippner) and on a blog I write with another volcanologist which is fun, and also keeps me up to date with volcano activity around the world.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I think I am very lucky to study some of the most powerful phenomena on Earth. Seeing volcanoes through satellite images, and then going out into the field to collect samples and data is so much fun. Seeing deposits in the field makes the satellite images make so much more sense, it’s like solving a really big puzzle in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. This means travelling around the world and seeing new places, experiencing new cultures, and when I’m really lucky, watching volcanoes erupt (safely).

5. Why do you think it’s important to encourage more girls into Geoscience?

It is an amazing career that is so rewarding and fun. Not only is it exciting working on volcanoes themselves, but you get to travel the world to conferences to meet up with other volcanologists/geologists/emergency managers and learn from each other. The more diverse the group is, the more we can all learn from each others different perspectives and solve tougher challenges.

6. If you could give a piece of advice to girls currently thinking about a career in the Geosciences, what would it be?

Follow your heart and go with what excites you the most and leaves you feeling inspired, this will get you further than anything else in life. Be open minded, be curious, ask a lot of questions, and be creative, you never know what skills will prove to be very useful in your future. Finally, reach out to people in areas you are interested in to learn more about what we do and the best ways (there are more than one!) for you to succeed in the path you wish to take.


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