Wendy Bohon earned her MS from SES in 2008 and now works as a Science Communication Specialist and Geologist for the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS).
"OSU gave me a firm foundation in key geologic concepts and classes and provided me with the skills and experience needed to perform high-level quantitative research. I also made excellent friends in the grad program that I still keep in touch with (and sometimes collaborate with) today."
Where has your degree taken you?
My geology degree has taken me all over the world! I’ve installed GPS stations in Bolivia, done fault mapping in Argentina, performed paleoseismic trenching in India and have worked on tectonics related problems in Mexico, India, China, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and the US.
My route to geology, however, was kind of circuitous. I started out my academic career in Theatre but after taking a Geology class in college I fell in love with tectonics and got double major in Theatre and Geology at James Madison University. From there, I moved to LA to pursue a career in acting which again got derailed by geology – this time in the form of the Hector Mine earthquake. After that life shaking event I went to work as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Pasadena. Finally succumbing to the siren song of science, I went back to school and earned an M.Sc. in Geology from THE Ohio State University! and a Ph.D. in Geology/Tectonics from Arizona State University.
How do you feel your experience, specifically as an SES/geology student at OSU, prepared you for your career or life in general?
OSU gave me a firm foundation in key geologic concepts and classes and provided me with the skills and experience needed to perform high-level quantitative research. I also made excellent friends in the grad program that I still keep in touch with (and sometimes collaborate with) today.
What is your favorite memory as a student?
My favorite memories at OSU were of arguing about geology with other grad students at Bodega and teaching Geology 100 labs. It was really amazing to work with the student and watch how their appreciation of the natural world grew as a result of learning about earth systems.
What advice do you have for current and future students?
1. Be open to any and all experiences – you never know what will prove useful in the future.
2. Go to colloquium. Talk to the speaker. Ask questions even if you're nervous.
3. TEACH. This will teach you what you don’t know.
4. Take every opportunity you can to improve your science communication skills. Write. Give talks. Teach. These skills are critical regards of what career you pursue, and as a scientist they are more important right now than ever.