Girls in Science & Technology: Geologist


As a geologist on the NWTP, Martha has also participated in joint verification activities between the United States and the former Soviet Union to establish "trust but verify" practices between the two nations.

Martha is currently evaluating the origin of soil mounds observed at the NTS to decide if they were formed by seismic energy produced by the nuclear tests. Similar mounds have been observed elsewhere in the world and on other planets. Determining the origin of the mounds may aid in solving a geologic mystery.


Outside of Work, and Secrets to Job Satisfaction

Outside of Work
Martha works on educational outreach programs that promote the geosciences to students and on human resource committees that promote the career development and enhancement of women and minorities in the USGS. She is also an active volunteer and board member of nonprofit and civic groups in her local community.


Although she and her husband, another geologist, are both busy, they spend as much time as possible being together and traveling with their two young children. Martha's son once remarked that he thought his mother knew everything. To put her to the test he asked her how the mountains were formed, and she was able to give him an answer. Martha is busy, but she can't imagine life without her family.

Martha's Secrets to Job Satisfaction
Martha encourages any young woman who thinks she might be interested in geology to take plenty of science and math courses, to include the humanities and to be involved in your community. Exposure to a wide range of subjects gives you a proper menu from which to choose your life's path; work in the humanities improves social and communication skills; and involvement in a community promotes leadership skills. Martha's advice is to ask questions, remain curious, strive to do your best and use your resources wisely.


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