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About Jess

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Born and raised in Rochester, NY, I studied geology at Syracuse University after being drawn to the adventure of learning about the earth with boots on the ground. After earning an MS in geology at Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in geology at UCLA, I landed in Tucson, AZ. I taught high school math and science for two years and have been a lecturer in the University of Arizona department of geosciences ever since. One geologist husband, two precocious sons, and eleven years of teaching later, I am now the associate department head of UA Geosciences, where I teach introductory geology classes to hundreds of students every year. I am finishing my first book, a memoir about my high altitude field adventures in Tibet. I also write fiction, blog for Huffington Post, and am an avid proponent of journeying beyond our comfort zones–that’s where life begins!

Roots, Rediscovery, and Remembrance – A Tribute to my Father

I took an epic journey over the last week. It covered 4,787 miles, spanned four time zones, and tapped into more than five decades of memories. It took me from the small Pacific island of Kauai to my hometown of Rochester, NY and back again. It took me back to my roots; to the city […]

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Seventeen Years Since Tibet

It has been almost seventeen years since my feet touched terra firma at 11,450 feet elevation, on the outskirts of Lhasa, Tibet. My first time at “high” altitude was both exhilarating, and utterly terrifying. I was embarking on an adventure that was meant to be no nonsense research for my PhD studies, but unbeknownst to […]