1. The beginning of a passion

My passion for volcanoes began when I was very young. Sometime in the 1990’s there was a Channel 4 programme called ‘Raging Planets’ which looked at all aspects of natural disasters, in turn, on a weekly basis. My parents occasionally videoed these programmes, and from that point on-wards I would, almost religiously, sit and watch each episode, particularly if I was ever off school.

The first episode on the video was all about volcanoes. And, the first eruption that was shown was that of Mount St. Helens, USA, in 1980. At the age of 5 I could probably tell you a lot more about Mount St. Helens than a lot of people in SE England!

Mount St Helens May 18th 1980, Credit: Kimmel 1980, USGS
Mount St Helens May 18th 1980. Credit: Kimmel 1980, USGS

Volcanology was certainly an odd interest to have as a small girl in England – which is not known for having an abundance of volcanoes. Luckily, I was a very determined person, and persisted, with my dream of studying volcanoes, even when everyone around me thought I was joking! For example, for many, many years my grandparents would ask if I really wanted to study volcanoes and be a volcanologist, my response was almost always a ‘yes’, and they would follow this up with ‘ok, but what will you actually be when you’re older?’

…Some 20 years later and I’m still holding on to my dream of being a volcanologist. And now I study volcanic material on a daily basis and visit amazing volcanoes all around the world for research and for fun!

My inspiration came from a TV science documentary, and a dogged determination to prove that I could study volcanoes when I was older, no matter what anyone else said. This still inspires me to this day, but also inspires me to give something back by sharing my knowledge of volcanology with anyone else who is curious! And this is the purpose of my blog and this website, I hope that you will join me on this incredible journey of our planet.

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