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Tandy Culpepper Talks Volcanoes & Earthquakes with Geologist & Volcanologist Jess Phoenix


Jess Phoenix wears many hats. The history undergrad major took a geology class on a lark and found herself instantly hooked. Soon enough, she earned a master’s degree in geology at California State University, Los Angeles. Her thesis is a mouthful: Lava Flow Morphologies and Structural Features Along the Axis of the South Rift Zone of Loihi Seamount, Hawaii.

Jess’s expertise in volcanology and seismology has made her a darling of media outlets — especially in recent weeks as volcanoes both in Iceland and Hawaii have exhibited increased activity and threatened public safety. 

Tandy Culpepper talks with Jess about the volcanoes in Iceland and Hawaii as well as the devastating earthquake in Japan on New Year’s Day. They also discuss Jess’s memoir, Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life.



Published by Tandy Culpepper

I am a veteran broadcast journalist. I was an Army brat before my father retired and moved us to the deep South. I'm talkin' Lower Alabama and Northwest Florida, I graduated from Tate High School and got botha Bachelor's degree and Master's in Teaching English from the University of West Florida, I taught English at Escambia County High School for two years before getting my m's in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Auburn University. Following graduation, I did a 180 degree turn and moved to Birmingham where I began ny broadcasting career at WBIQ, Channel 10. There I was host of a weekly primetime half-hour TV program called Alabama Lifestyles. A year later, I began a stint as a television weathercaster and public affairs host. A year later, I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida and became bureau chief at WPTV, the CBS affiliate. Two years later, I moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where I became co-host of a morng show called AM Carolina. The next year, I moved cross-country and became co-host and story producer at KTVN-TV in Reno, Nevada. I also became the medical reporter for the news department. Three years later, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became host and producer of a morning show called today in WAVE Country at WAVE-TV, Channel 3, the NBC affiliate. Following three years there, I moved to Los Angeles and became senior correspondent at the Turner Entertainment Reportn, an internationally-syndicated entertainment entertainment news service owned by CNN. I went back to school afterwards and got an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. Oh, yes. I won a hundred thousand dollars on the 100 Thousand Dollar Pyramid, then hosted by Dick Clark.

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