I am a strong proponent of outreach and service activities in the Earth Sciences through mentorship, science communication to the public, and department leadership.

USC has several great outreach programs if you are interested in getting involved (whether you are a faculty, graduate student or undergraduate). Useful links to the Joint Educational Project (JEP) and the Viterbi K-12 Outreach program. We’ve compiled a list of outreach opportunities available to USC Earth Science graduate students here.

I also believe strongly in creating an inclusive workplace in my lab and STEM more generally. See Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for more information about this.


From discussing how to ‘decide if grad school is right for you’ over a cup of coffee to step-by-step training on laboratory equipment, I think mentoring is a powerful learning tool.

As a graduate student, you can mentor undergraduate research and career planning – an experience I found invaluable.

I encourage my graduate students to take advantage of opportunities and create your own.


It is critical for early career scientists to learn to express their scientific research.

Practicing science communication online or in person is an excellent way to practice outreach as a graduate student

Whether it’s a blog, instagram page, children’s book, or public lectures – one of our goals as scientists is to educate the public about what we are doing and why it’s important.


I encourage graduate students to participate in leadership roles in student government as an effective way to have a positive influence on the academic community.

Leadership can happen within our department, as part of a professional society, or outside of STEM and academia (shocking, I know).

Find what makes you passionate and flex your leadership muscles. It will help you find your passion and get a job one day.


K-12 outreach is an invaluable resource to public school students and teachers, as well as graduate students. Often Earth Science is lacking completely or only taught in elementary school. You can make a tremendous impact by designing a K-12 friendly lesson plan based on your research expertise. Such plans can be disseminated widely and published in peer-reviewed journals. Check out JEP and other USC programs to help facilitate your K-12 outreach.