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Paleontologist and PBS host Michelle Barboza

Astronaut's Daughter
Down to earth figuratively and literally, fossil scientist Michelle Barboza talks about her career path and why she's obsessed with ancient life on earth.
Show transcript
00:00
Hey, everyone.
00:00
Welcome to astronaut's daughter.
00:02
I'm your host, Vanessa Hernandez and I am, in fact the daughter
00:05
of an astronaut in this episode.
00:07
I sit down with Michelle Barboza.
00:09
They are a paleontologist, a geology professor and a co host
00:13
of the PBS show.
00:15
Eons.
00:15
We talk about the importance of diversity in science, how
00:19
we can make our natural world more accessible and we even play
00:22
with some rocks.
00:41
Hi, Michelle.
00:42
Thank you so much for coming on my podcast.
00:44
I'm really excited to talk to you today.
00:46
I've never met a paleontologist in person before.
00:49
So I'm really excited.
00:51
The only context I have is Ross from friends who is known for
00:56
his paleontology studies and all of his friends give him crap
01:01
for it because it's, well, all my friends are paleontologist
01:03
so all my friends, it's very cool.
01:05
That's so awesome.
01:06
Well, I'd love to hear a little bit about you if you want to give
01:08
a brief introduction to who you are.
01:10
So, my name is Michelle pronouns, are they them?
01:13
I'm a paleontologist, also a geologist.
01:15
So kind of like you can say you're a neurosurgeon, but you're
01:18
also a doctor.
01:19
Like I'm a geologist.
01:21
Um I work as a professor at Cal State Fullerton and I also work
01:25
as a science communicator.
01:26
So being a co-host for PB s's paleontology show called um Hated
01:32
Science as a kid.
01:34
I love to tell that to my students because like me being a scientist
01:38
right now, I'm used to it now.
01:40
But like if you had told me a couple of years ago that I was going
01:42
to be first of all a scientist and then second of all teaching
01:46
science and like, that's my whole life.
01:47
I would have said no, thank you.
01:49
That sounds so boring and I hate it.
01:51
Um I just like, I sucked at science in school.
01:54
I sucked at math.
01:55
I was like an English person and an artsy person and I was like
01:59
oh, I'll become, I don't know, a writer or something even
02:01
though I suck at writing too now that I think of it.
02:03
But I was just like, you know, science is like test tubes and
02:08
like a chalkboard with the equations and like all this stuff
02:11
that was just like, so boring, so strict too.
02:14
Yeah, I feel like as kids, you kind of have a preconceived notion
02:17
of what science is and you put it under one umbrella, but there's
02:22
so many different facets to it.
02:24
Did you grow up in a stem household?
02:27
Like, what did your parents do?
02:28
So, my parents are both teachers.
02:29
Um My mom's an elementary school.
02:31
Teacher and my dad's a junior high teacher.
02:33
So, like, they had, you know, a broad knowledge of like different
02:36
subjects of what they taught their students.
02:38
Um But they were not like science.
02:40
Like my mom was also a painter and my grandpa was in and his full
02:44
time job was being a painter.
02:46
Um So like, no, no one in my family did science or really understood
02:51
it super well.
02:52
They never discouraged me.
02:54
But I mean, there was no one to sort of introduce me to that world
02:57
Like, you know, how we said science seems like one umbrella
03:00
right?
03:00
Like I didn't even know that the job I have now exists, you know
03:04
like I had no idea.
03:05
I thought like the options where you could be like a lawyer
03:08
a doctor working in business or like whatever chemistry
03:12
people do, you know, like I didn't know.
03:15
And my parents being teachers, like my mom used to take me everywhere
03:19
like on our own field trip.
03:20
So I went to the museums and I liked the museums but it never
03:24
crossed my mind that like, oh, someone had to, like, find those
03:27
dinosaur fossils and like put them out on display and like
03:31
figure out what they are.
03:32
Like, I just, I never made that connection.
03:34
And so when I got to college, like, you have to take a science
03:38
class, like, even if you're an art major, what you have to take
03:41
one science class to graduate, like, as your GES.
03:43
So I was like, I'm not gonna do chemistry, I'm not going to do
03:46
biology.
03:47
Like geology is just rocks, right?
03:49
Like, that's got to be easy.
03:50
Like, just what is this rock and jokes on me?
03:53
Because now that's the, the class that I am teaching.
03:55
That is the class I taught right before I got here today.
03:57
Um But like, that's when I found out you can get paid to go hiking
04:01
and like, you can get paid to be the person that's like digging
04:04
up those dinosaur bones or like, that's when I realized, like
04:07
science was so much more than just the test tubes and the science
04:11
equations.
04:12
You know, I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait.
04:13
What else is there that I didn't know about, like, when you
04:18
were a kid, were there any books or movies or TV, shows that
04:22
really inspired you or that you just enjoyed consuming that
04:25
kind of shaped your curiosity as an adult.
04:28
Now, now that I think of it, I definitely love stuff like Zuma
04:32
and like the nature and the outdoors show.
04:35
And, you know, I'm a paleontologist by trade.
04:37
Like, that's what I studied and that's what I did my research
04:39
in.
04:40
But now a lot of the work that I've been doing has been sort of
04:43
like with outdoor education.
04:45
So I also work with the National Park Service and I've worked
04:47
with the Natural History Museum and bridging that gap between
04:51
folks who live in this city and might not have access to the
04:55
outdoors and connecting them to that.
04:57
So even as a kid, like, I can remember watching all of documentary
05:01
shows and like animals and all these things that seem so cool
05:05
and that's somehow like coming back full circle and what I
05:08
what I'm into now again, that's so cool.
05:11
And you mentioned that you're a teacher yourself.
05:13
Did you have any teachers when you were a kid?
05:16
Maybe in college that really helped you and became a role model
05:20
for you.
05:20
Totally.
05:21
100%.
05:22
So when I started um college and I took that geology class,
05:26
I went and changed my major on a whim and I was like, OK, I'm gonna
05:29
like, do geology because I remember like the first day of like
05:33
business class I walked in with like my blue hair, my docks
05:36
and my, like torn tights and my miniskirt.
05:38
And I was like, oh, this is like, not the place for me because
05:42
it was like, all like fat people and like very different than
05:45
what I was looking for.
05:47
And with geology, like you get to take your classes outside
05:50
right?
05:50
Like you have to go outside and look up the rocks and like do
05:52
field trips and you go camping for school.
05:54
Oh, that's so fun.
05:55
So, so fun.
05:56
It's so fun.
05:58
And so I was like, yes, this is what I'm changing my major.
06:00
To.
06:00
So then the next semester I started taking a paleontology
06:03
class and I had just switched over.
06:06
I, like, truly didn't know what it meant to, like, be a science
06:08
major because plot twist, I did have to take chemistry and
06:11
physics to graduate.
06:12
I passed.
06:13
But, like, that's not what I was planning on anyway.
06:15
I was in that paleo class and I just went up to the teacher and
06:19
I was like, hey, like, I just switched to be a geology major
06:22
Paleontology.
06:23
Sounds cool.
06:23
I don't really know anything about it, but like, I'm excited
06:26
to take your class and like, figure out if this is what I want
06:30
to do.
06:30
And he ended up becoming my mentor for like the whole time that
06:34
I was an undergrad, he helped me get a job, like, I was working
06:38
at a guitar store at the time, which was very fun, but it was
06:40
far from campus and it, you know, I wanted to switch into doing
06:44
something that was related to my major.
06:46
So, uh he was connected to people who worked at the museum and
06:49
got me a job there.
06:50
And then I asked him to be my mentor when I was doing my research
06:53
and he taught me what it meant to like, do science and like to
06:58
you know, study fossils and like, publish papers.
07:01
And when I got to grad school and now as a professor, I still
07:05
use a lot of the information that he taught me and the methods
07:09
And yeah, definitely, I attribute a lot of my success to having
07:12
someone that cared that much and was like, truly mentoring
07:16
me through under.
07:16
That's awesome.
07:17
And I love that you had the courage to go up to your professor
07:20
and let them know that this was an interest of yours because
07:24
you know, it set you on a different path and they introduced
07:27
you to so many different opportunities like your job at the
07:30
museum.
07:31
That's so cool.
07:32
That's what I tell all my students.
07:35
Um like, I know you're scared.
07:36
I know, like, maybe you're a freshman, maybe you haven't talked
07:39
to your professors, but we have hundreds of students, right
07:42
And like, I try to remember everyone's names.
07:44
I can't always do it.
07:45
But I don't know if maybe the student sitting in the back of
07:48
my class is interested in geology and does want me to give them
07:52
more of that information or help them find an internship,
07:56
like talk to your professors.
07:57
Like let them just introduce yourself, tell them your name
08:00
you know, ask a couple questions in class, even if you ask
08:03
the wrong one or like, even if you don't have the right answer
08:06
just like they are there to help you.
08:09
You know, they can, I mean, I never planned to go to grad school
08:13
or like become a professor because we don't have the money
08:16
for that.
08:16
Like, that's so expensive.
08:18
And I remember I mentioned that to one of my professors and
08:21
they said, oh, you don't have to pay to go to grad school.
08:24
And I was like, excuse me originally I was doing business.
08:28
So like if you're going into business or a lot of other majors
08:31
like, yeah, you do have to pay to go to grad school.
08:33
But for science, for a lot of the sciences, especially what
08:38
I was doing.
08:38
If you are um you know, leaving L A, they will pay you to go to
08:43
grad school.
08:44
So not only was my college tuition paid, but I was also paid
08:48
on top of that to like be a student.
08:50
Like I got money every month just to like pay my rent and like
08:56
you know, provide for myself so that I didn't have to work
08:58
and I could just focus on doing my research or working in the
09:02
museum.
09:02
And I would have had no idea if I hadn't just like talked to my
09:06
professor about it and I honestly didn't know that and I'm
09:09
sure a lot of people don't know that.
09:11
So that's a really great thing to share that.
09:13
Going back to when you were a kid, you didn't like science,
09:16
you weren't good at it.
09:17
Did you have a certain that you thought that you were going
09:20
to end up in and then decided not to do?
09:23
Yeah.
09:24
Um I wanted to open up like a vintage store.
09:28
Like I like shopping, I still do.
09:31
It shows that your passion is what I do on the side.
09:35
So I was like, well, I like to thrift so like, maybe I can make
09:37
a job out of it.
09:39
Um, because like, again, truly, like, I did not know what careers
09:43
existed.
09:43
Like, I was like doctor, lawyer, scientist person, like none
09:47
of those things crazy how those jobs are so limited to us as
09:52
kids.
09:52
We're like, ok, these are the main jobs you go into.
09:55
And then when you start picking careers in college, there
09:59
are the basics like business, communications, engineering
10:03
Like those, it's like maybe you don't even know what career
10:05
you're going to do.
10:06
You're just like getting a major because you're like, I need
10:08
to do something.
10:09
So I am really grateful for the fact that we have to do like GES
10:12
because again, like I would have never taken it unless I was
10:15
forced to and I was and now here I am.
10:18
But like another, you know, advice that I always give my students
10:21
is like, join all the clubs, like try out everything once.
10:24
Like, you know, if you hit the club, you can always leave after
10:27
a meeting or two, but maybe you'll meet people there that have
10:30
other careers.
10:30
Like I have a friend who was a major and like her job is to teach
10:34
yoga on the beach.
10:36
You know, like to people.
10:37
She works for like a hotel.
10:39
She teaches the yoga.
10:40
She does like the activities, she loves crafting.
10:42
So she gets to do that for a living.
10:44
And that's like another job I would have never heard of or like
10:47
thought about and I worked for a while.
10:49
Um, my job title was Stem Ambassador, which sounds super fancy
10:52
But it just meant that I would go to high schools and talk to
10:55
kids about like, these are careers that I bet you never knew
10:58
existed.
10:59
And so I had a game that I would play with them where I was like
11:01
give me something you're interested in and I'll give you
11:03
like a science career that matches with it.
11:06
So like if you like music, you can be a sound engineer, right
11:09
Like you study engineering and you work with that technology
11:12
If you like video games, you could design video games and like
11:15
learn coding.
11:16
If you like skate parks, like you could be a skate park engineer
11:18
Like there's all these ways that whatever interests you have
11:22
can tie in to like science that maybe you just hadn't thought
11:26
of every school needs this.
11:28
It sounds so cool.
11:30
There's so much more that we don't know.
11:32
What were you learning in your intro to geology class that
11:37
made you realize?
11:38
Ok, I need to talk to my professor and go into this because I
11:42
love this.
11:43
It's kind of silly, like, truly, I don't remember the majority
11:47
of the class, but I remember the moment I was like, excuse me
11:50
um We were talking about mitigation work which like big fancy
11:55
word.
11:55
All it means is that in California, when you are doing any sort
11:59
of construction, like digging buildings, whatever you need
12:02
to have by law, an archaeologist and a paleontologist on site
12:06
because our state has so many fossils and so many artifacts
12:09
that like if they didn't have someone on it, they would just
12:12
get destroyed.
12:13
So we do have laws protecting the fossils and the artifacts
12:16
here.
12:16
So you need to have a paleontologist on site.
12:18
So that's government funded.
12:19
And that's like a steady, like actual job.
12:22
And like, I was going to college not too long after the recession
12:25
where, like, a lot of people didn't have jobs and like, everything
12:28
seemed very up in the air and I was like, wait, this is like a
12:31
study for a real job that you could have.
12:35
Like, that's safe.
12:36
Like, I remember that really hit me.
12:38
I just, that was also the first time I'd heard of like, oh, like
12:41
a job as a geologist or as a paleontologist.
12:44
And then it kind of spiraled from there and I started researching
12:47
like, what does a paleontologist do?
12:49
And that's different from an archaeologist.
12:51
And here are all these things.
12:53
That was the moment it hit me, it literally was like, oh, yeah
12:56
you can get paid to do this thing we were learning about when
12:58
before, when I was in the class.
13:00
I was, I think just thinking like, oh, here's the thing to know
13:03
about why dirt is the color it is versus like, oh, maybe we care
13:07
about the dirt color because that affects whether people
13:10
are eating safe food or like, I just, I hadn't made that connection
13:14
and I remember that moment feeling the spark and I was like
13:17
oh, there's like, there's a reason we're learning this and
13:20
there's more to learn about it still.
13:23
That's so amazing.
13:23
Now, for people who aren't super familiar with, what paleontologists
13:27
do, you talked about how it's necessary to have people on site
13:33
monitoring and, you know, involved in that whole process
13:37
What do they actually, what are they there for?
13:39
Yeah.
13:39
So like just broadly, a paleontologist is someone who studies
13:44
ancient life on earth basically.
13:46
So we're different from archaeologists.
13:48
You can think of like, in a simplified way, archaeologists
13:50
work with like humans and onward and like paleontologists
13:54
work with basically everything that came before that.
13:56
So like the earth is really old.
13:59
Like, how old do you think the earth is like in millions of years
14:04
or billions?
14:05
Right.
14:05
Yeah.
14:06
So it's like 4.6 billion years old, this planet that we live
14:09
on.
14:10
Um Which means that it hasn't always been around because the
14:13
universe is 13 billion years old.
14:14
So we've been around for like a third of it.
14:17
And so I start a lot of my classes with my students being like
14:20
where did the earth come from?
14:21
And they're like, oh, yeah, like this planet hasn't always
14:23
existed.
14:24
So, we are studying paleontologists from the point that,
14:27
like, our earth has existed until basically, like, 10,000
14:31
years ago.
14:31
Like, anything that's over 10,000 years we consider a fossil
14:35
And so we study, like, what, what was going on back then, right
14:39
Like, what was the climate, like?
14:41
What kind of animals lived here and like, why don't they live
14:44
here anymore?
14:44
Because we know a lot of animals are extinct and like, what
14:47
caused them to go extinct because a lot of the same things that
14:50
killed off a lot of life before is happening now.
14:53
And so using that as almost like experiments or models or examples
14:58
of what could happen to us in the present, I mean, that's why
15:01
it's useful, but also it's just like, really cool.
15:03
Like, I just love learning about dinosaurs and they were two
15:06
tigers and stuff, you know.
15:08
So I was like, oh, I can do something really cool and interesting
15:11
So, yeah, that's what paleontology is.
15:13
But like, you can do different careers of paleontology.
15:16
So there's mitigation, paleontology that's essentially
15:19
people are already digging in an area.
15:21
And you're just kind of like, are there fossils there though
15:24
If you are like a researcher or at a museum, you have to like
15:29
get that money to go out into the desert or wherever you're
15:34
looking for.
15:35
Dinosaurs or any other sort of life and kind of fill in the pieces
15:40
of the puzzle, right?
15:41
Like you can think of geology and paleontology as like we have
15:45
a book and we're starting to add in the field notes to like,
15:48
oh, we know on June 24th, 2022 this was happening, but maybe
15:53
we don't know what happened on July 24.
15:56
Right?
15:56
And so every time we're going out on a new dig, we're like, getting
16:00
a little bit more information to fill in that scrapbook.
16:02
I like the history of the story.
16:04
You're putting together a story of what happened.
16:07
It's like the most amazing story.
16:09
I have so much.
16:10
My favorite class to teach is History of the Earth.
16:14
And I'm like, we're going to learn 4.6 billion years in six
16:17
weeks.
16:18
No big deal.
16:18
Let's go.
16:19
Like, there's so much that has happened.
16:22
It's like the most incredible like movie or book you could
16:25
ever think of the like literal history that's happened here
16:27
on earth.
16:28
You know, there's like lots of sci-fi movies and like cool
16:30
stuff happening in Hollywood now.
16:32
And like my friends and I always joke, like, if they only knew
16:35
what has already happened and they could just like, take that
16:38
stuff and like, you know, reboot it on screen.
16:41
Like there's so many stories that that's a great change to
16:44
into my next question because I was going to ask you how paleontology
16:47
influences our lives right now.
16:49
And I think that happens, we see it in movies and, you know,
16:52
we have this natural curiosity of what happened before we
16:56
even got here.
16:57
And so I wanted to ask you what your opinion was on that one way
17:00
that I think paleontology has a big influence is those kids
17:05
that you used to babysit that were like, I love dinosaurs.
17:08
Let's learn about this kind of stuff from kids that age to like
17:11
people now that also think they don't like science.
17:14
Like everyone loves a dinosaur, everyone wants to learn a
17:17
little bit about like, oh, like what is this big thing?
17:20
And like, how come it doesn't exist anymore?
17:22
It's like this like secret entry into science that people
17:27
can feel comfortable joining in.
17:29
And I work with a group of friends with a program called Cosway
17:34
for Science.
17:34
And we always talk about how we're like trying to sneak in science
17:38
to people and like psych, you're actually learning a lot science
17:41
So what we do, like the whole reason Cosway for science started
17:44
is all my friends are patos.
17:46
We're all nerds and we would have like events at the museums
17:52
where we would have out like fossils and be like, ask us anything
17:55
and people would be kind of like nervous.
17:58
Um I don't know if it's because like, oh it's a scientist and
18:01
I don't want to sound dumb in front of the scientist, right
18:03
Like I think that's a genuine fear, which I mean, we're asking
18:07
all the same questions you are like, that's how we figured
18:09
stuff out, but people would be really nervous.
18:11
So we started dressing up as like Jurassic Park characters
18:15
you know, like Alan Grant and all the thing and then people
18:19
would see the characters they like from the movie and be like
18:21
oh my God, like, is this like from the movie?
18:23
And then the conversation would go really easily.
18:26
Um And, you know, they ended up learning and so we ended up doing
18:30
more events like that where we'd get a little bit crazier.
18:32
Like we did a Pokemon museum.
18:34
It's like Pokemon is based on, or a lot of the Pokemon are based
18:39
on like real animals and sometimes even real fossil animals
18:42
So there's like a mammoth Pokemon and there's like a horseshoe
18:45
crab Pokemon.
18:47
And so people would be like, oh, I know all about Pokemon, like
18:49
let's talk and then we'd be like, but also like, there was
18:52
a real one of these that actually live on our planet.
18:55
Isn't that cool?
18:56
So we'd be tricking them into learning some fun science.
19:00
And I think paleontology is like a really good way of where
19:02
that happens.
19:03
Like, it's, it seems less scary, I think to talk to someone
19:06
about like a dinosaur than it is to talk to someone about a chemistry
19:10
equation.
19:11
But we could, we could sneak in some chemistry, you know, if
19:14
if you get a little braver.
19:15
So I, I love that about my fields.
19:18
Um, and that's what I found that I love doing more than anything
19:22
I, I did research, um, when I was in grad school and an undergrad
19:26
But now most of what I do is talking to people about science
19:31
like people who, who don't know science or think they don't
19:33
like science and maybe changing their minds a little bit.
19:36
That's awesome.
19:37
Yeah, I think you hit on a really cool and interesting point
19:41
is that a lot of people are often afraid to talk to scientists
19:46
and riff with them about their field because they don't want
19:49
to come across as dumb or knowing less than, and I relate to
19:53
that so much, especially with this podcast.
19:56
I'm talking to so many intelligent people in their field and
20:00
it's scary.
20:01
But I think when you, when you bring it to a level where it's
20:05
comfortable and it's more casual, you're inviting them to
20:08
engage in a conversation and hopefully they learn something
20:12
and they take away from it.
20:13
You know, I think learning is so much fun and you make it sound
20:16
so fun by doing it in different ways.
20:19
Like I would have never thought dressing up in cosplay and
20:23
having these events and engaging with people on, you know
20:27
you have a commonality of, you know, this show or this, you
20:30
know, Pokemon or something like that and it invites conversation
20:35
I think that's so, so cool.
20:36
I love meeting people like, where they are, right?
20:39
Like people feel empowered and definitely know more about
20:42
like Pokemon or like Star Wars than I do.
20:44
And so like, now it's not just that I'm the expert, like you're
20:47
also an expert and let's learn from each other.
20:50
That is so like, such a better way to learn.
20:53
Are there any specific ways that new discoveries in paleontology
20:57
are going to change our daily lives?
20:59
Totally.
21:00
Yes.
21:01
So the saying that we use for paleontology is that the past
21:06
is the key to the present because a lot of things that are happening
21:10
now have already happened and will happen again, right?
21:13
And so knowing if you know something already happened, what
21:17
was the result can be really helpful, especially like right
21:20
now, for example, climate change, right?
21:22
It's a big issue that we should be taking even more seriously
21:26
than we are right now.
21:27
You can think of the fact that for example, carbon dioxide
21:29
levels are rising and that's causing our earth to warm up.
21:33
This is not the first time it's happened in earth history.
21:36
And that's not to say that we shouldn't worry about it because
21:38
it already happened, right?
21:39
People talk about how there have been like fluctuations in
21:42
temperatures throughout earth history, which is correct
21:45
but not to the extent that it's happening now or should I say
21:48
not at the like sped up time levels right before it might have
21:51
happened over millions or hundreds of millions of years.
21:54
And now it's like hundreds of years, which is not good.
21:57
But if we can see, ok, if the carbon dioxide levels like skyrocketed
22:03
before, how did the organisms living on earth fare?
22:06
Uh spoiler alert.
22:08
Not so great, right?
22:09
Like we should probably be taking care of that right now.
22:13
And so knowing that, you know, we're not just worrying for
22:16
no reason, but we can also see like all right, if we are not taking
22:20
care of the rising carbon dioxide levels or the things that
22:23
are causing climate change, what are the effects that are
22:25
going to happen?
22:26
So we can start preparing for those effects to prepare people
22:28
So if we know that for example, sea level is going to rise because
22:32
the glaciers are melting, knowing that ahead of time means
22:35
we can start preparing by moving people out of those areas
22:38
or thinking about not developing in those areas, right?
22:41
So one of the ways that studying paleontology has changed
22:46
the way that I see the world is understanding that timescale
22:50
right?
22:50
We tend to think of ourselves as someone who lived 100 had a
22:54
long life, right?
22:56
And I think of things on scales of millions, if not billions
23:00
of years.
23:01
And I do this um this activity with my students in class where
23:05
we make a timeline of the history of the earth to scale because
23:09
a lot of the times when you see it, it's like all condensed.
23:11
So it looks pretty short.
23:13
But we do this scale.
23:14
So we do like a 4.6 m long like paper or a piece of string and they
23:20
map out like the earth was created.
23:22
And then there's like the first life on earth, but it's just
23:25
like unicellular, it's like bacteria and then the first multicellular
23:29
life and then they're like taking like steps like they're
23:32
going a meter, right?
23:33
And like nothing is happening.
23:35
I mean, things are happening but nothing that we would consider
23:38
interesting.
23:39
You don't get like life as we know it, like multicellular,
23:42
visible life until the last 18% of earth's history.
23:47
Like we're nothing, you know, you try to put like dinosaurs
23:51
and humans and they're all kind of piling on top of each other
23:54
because compared to the rest of earth, earth was this uninhabitable
23:59
molten like non breathable planet for a really long time.
24:04
And it's only been very recently that it's something that
24:06
we can survive on and we like just being like living organisms
24:11
let alone humans.
24:12
So understanding that whole scale of time is just very humbling
24:18
and like helps me appreciate my planet and my universe so much
24:22
better.
24:22
I'm going to tell you right now, it's like blowing my mind trying
24:26
to wrap my head around it that it's so because like you said
24:31
100 years is usually kind of the life span that we're we're
24:35
working with or you know, everyone kind of just is in, that's
24:39
like what we can not even scratching the surface of what our
24:44
history is on.
24:45
You know, earth with that being said, understanding that
24:50
science as especially as it relates to nature.
24:54
How does understanding that science improve our society
24:57
Yeah, I think not taking for granted the world that is around
25:02
you, right?
25:03
Like take L A for example, we're in the L A basin right now and
25:07
we're used to it being this beautiful, like lush, nice place
25:11
to live where it's sunny almost every day.
25:13
But this place was underwater for most of its existence.
25:18
This was not L A as we know it, right?
25:20
Like there used to be crocodiles here and like swamps and that's
25:23
what I studied when I was doing my research, the earth as we
25:27
know it, it's just like a tiny blink in time and it has looked
25:30
so different over so much of the time.
25:32
And if we want to take care of it in terms of a way that we're comfortable
25:36
living in it, then we have to understand that this is not something
25:40
to take for granted, right?
25:41
This is, this is something that can change in an instant if
25:44
we're not paying attention as a professor.
25:47
I assume that you try to teach with this mindset.
25:51
What is it like teaching?
25:53
And you know, I know you said that you love just communicating
25:57
science and really teaching all that you have to know and passing
26:02
that on.
26:03
What is that?
26:04
What is that like for you being a professor?
26:06
I hope fun for my students.
26:08
I love teaching.
26:09
I think it's like super fun.
26:10
I will go up and dance in front of class and I'll bring students
26:14
up and they have to pretend to be a tectonic plates.
26:16
But the thing that I try to get across to all my students is first
26:20
of all, like, you don't have to love science or think you're
26:24
good at science to be good in this class.
26:26
I told them I'm not trying to make you all a scientist like I
26:28
was, that's fine.
26:29
But I want you to be a lawyer or a business person or whatever
26:34
you go to do that does understand the importance of science
26:38
and that you can ask questions about science, right?
26:41
Going back to that idea of like I know what I thought before
26:45
I was a science scientist.
26:46
Is that science is this closed box?
26:49
It's like these answers that we already know.
26:51
And like if you don't understand it, well, don't even bother
26:54
asking because you're not going to be able to participate
26:56
in it.
26:56
And that's not what it is.
26:57
Like.
26:58
The biggest discovery that I made as I was starting to be a science
27:02
student was like, everyone is asking questions like that's
27:04
what research is like, we don't know all the answers and sometimes
27:08
we figure out that those answers are not correct, right?
27:12
Because we get new information.
27:13
So we got to rethink the way that we were viewing something
27:16
And so that was really exciting.
27:17
It was this idea that science is dynamic and changing and needs
27:21
people to ask what sometimes might seem like a dumb question
27:24
right.
27:25
But like, do we actually know the answer?
27:27
Can't we explain that?
27:28
So I want my students to have curiosity and to have like autonomy
27:34
and feel powerful enough to ask those questions either to
27:37
me or when they leave my class and maybe they're trying to learn
27:41
about whether a vaccine is safe to take or not.
27:43
They can ask those questions and they can do some research
27:46
and they can understand how to read or find someone who can
27:50
help them understand that science.
27:52
So I mean, again, like you don't, you know, if you're watching
27:55
this podcast, it's fine.
27:56
You don't have to become a scientist, but you can still ask
27:59
questions about science.
28:00
You can still like participate and be involved.
28:02
Like science is just asking questions.
28:04
It's being curious, right?
28:06
Like we're doing that every day.
28:07
Yeah.
28:07
And I love how college is not the only place for learning.
28:11
We often think that learning stops when we graduate and we
28:14
go into our respective fields, we can learn about new things
28:19
every single day.
28:20
And I love the internet.
28:21
Yes, we have the internet but I love how you're just making
28:25
it more approachable for others to just ask questions and
28:29
not have that fear of sounding dumb or not feeling like they're
28:33
welcomed that space to have these conversations and just
28:37
learn more.
28:38
And I mean, that's another thing that I love about like modern
28:42
social media is you can talk to like real scientists, right
28:45
Like I'm a real paleontologist like that, you can ask a question
28:48
to, you can message me on Instagram and I'll answer your question
28:51
I'd love to do that.
28:52
Like you can communicate with people.
28:54
But some of the other things that I've been focusing on doing
28:57
is I'm actually trying to start a group right now.
28:59
That's like a queer people of color, like outdoor collective
29:03
So a lot of people feel like in the same way that science isn't
29:06
approachable, like going on a hike or getting outside might
29:09
seem a little scary like, oh, I don't have the right gear.
29:12
I don't have hiking shoes.
29:13
I don't have this.
29:14
So helping people get outdoors and then learn about what's
29:19
out there.
29:19
Like, the reason I liked being outdoors and the reason I ended
29:22
up becoming a geologist is I would go hiking in the L A mountains
29:26
and be like, why is there a mountain here or like, why are the
29:30
trees different when I go higher versus lower?
29:33
Like those are questions I was already asking and I didn't
29:35
realize that was science right?
29:36
Like asking those questions is science finding the answer
29:40
to those questions that science, right?
29:42
The answer is there was a tectonic plate called the Far plate
29:46
which was skinny and it was like under the ocean and it crashed
29:49
with the North American plate.
29:51
That's like the rest of our country and it got sucked underneath
29:54
the plate and all of the magma that rose up is basically like
29:58
the mountain ranges that we live on.
30:00
Like that's so cool.
30:01
There's so much you can learn about.
30:04
You just have to take the moment to ask that question, right
30:06
And the coolest thing I think also about California is that
30:10
it's so large and you can be by the beach and then go to the mountains
30:16
and then go to the desert all within a day if you're in kind of
30:20
you know, the L A area.
30:21
But then you can go up north and go to the redwoods and it's just
30:24
there's so much to learn, there's volcanoes up there.
30:28
We have all the different types of rocks here.
30:30
We have the igneous sedimentary metamorphic.
30:32
We have all the different, different time periods here too
30:35
Like you can find some dinosaurs, not a lot, we were mostly
30:38
underwater during dinosaur times, but you can also find the
30:41
oldest fossils to ever exist.
30:43
They're over out by the Mojave Desert and you can find really
30:46
recent fossils at the Libre Tar Pits, right?
30:49
Those are fossils that are only like 3 million years old, which
30:53
only 3 million is actually really young.
30:54
Remembering that the earth is 4.6 billion.
30:57
Um So we have like all of the different fossil types, all of
31:00
the rock types we like.
31:02
Our state is on two different tectonic plates.
31:05
We're on an oceanic plate, the Pacific plate and the rest,
31:09
most of the rest of the country is on the North American Plate
31:13
Like there's a lot going on here geologically.
31:15
It's a great place to do geology and a great place to just like
31:18
go explore.
31:19
That's so cool.
31:20
I, I did want to ask in all of your experiences, did you ever
31:24
have a place where you thought?
31:26
OK, maybe this isn't the spot for me.
31:29
Maybe I don't have a place here or did that make you work even
31:33
harder to show people that you do belong here?
31:36
Yeah, I definitely had a moment where I was like, this is not
31:40
fun, but that made me double back for sure.
31:43
I started my own podcast for like a class.
31:46
So I ended up double majoring sort of I have a paleontology
31:50
degree, but I also have a degree in gender studies because
31:54
I just wanted to learn more.
31:56
And so I mentioned to my mentor that I wanted to take some of
31:59
these classes and I wanted to learn more about the history
32:02
of women and underrepresented people in STEM.
32:04
And I was like, I'm just going to start a podcast because I'm
32:06
going to do all this research.
32:07
So I might as well share it.
32:09
And so he was like, well, why don't you get a degree along with
32:11
it if you're doing all this work?
32:13
And I was like, oh, that's awesome genius.
32:15
So, yeah, like I doubled down, I got studies and like, for me
32:19
as a scientist, I like to have like facts and that made me feel
32:22
more powerful when people would say things like, oh, well
32:25
you're not going to find the history of Latinos in STEM because
32:28
you guys have only been able to go to school for the last 50 years
32:31
or you've only had, you know, things like that, that they said
32:35
very brazenly.
32:36
And so then I'd be able to clap back with all of these facts and
32:39
information because OK, you want to talk facts here are the
32:42
facts and I have information to give back to you, but it's tiring
32:47
you know, it does get tiring.
32:48
So I don't know, I'm happy where I am now again.
32:53
And I want to continue to make sure that people can see us here
32:56
Yeah, that's amazing.
32:57
And I think that's a big reason why this podcast exists too
33:00
is to give a platform for, you know, those voices and to share
33:04
that these careers are a possibility and there's a place for
33:07
everyone everywhere.
33:08
So, you know, as long as you work hard for it, you'll get there
33:11
What do you think?
33:12
There are some ways that us as a society can do better to make
33:16
science more accessible to different communities or communities
33:20
who may be underserved?
33:22
Oh, that's such a big question.
33:25
And it's OK if you don't have like a sad answer.
33:27
But it's just something that I like to ask each of my guests
33:30
because everyone has a different perspective and a different
33:33
opinion.
33:34
Yeah, there's a phrase I heard recently and I hope I'm repeating
33:38
it correctly.
33:39
But it was sharing space without sharing power is tokenism
33:45
So inviting people of color, inviting queer folks, inviting
33:49
people who have accessibility issues, whoever you want to
33:52
call it into your space to like show aha, we are diverse is not
33:57
fixing the diversity problem.
33:59
That's, that's tokenism that's having a face there.
34:02
It's asking them to participate in creating the curricula
34:06
and creating new standards in recruitment and whatever aspect
34:12
of this field you want to talk about.
34:13
That's when you are starting to actually address the problem
34:17
right?
34:18
So sharing space without sharing power that that does nothing
34:22
I think that's really important to remember.
34:24
That's a really good answer.
34:25
And I think we see it a lot, right?
34:27
We see companies, we see classrooms, we see universities
34:32
kind of fit a quota but stop there.
34:35
It's like, OK, well, you need to dig a little deeper, push it
34:38
a little deeper.
34:40
Yeah, I think another thing I was really interested in and
34:42
the reason I got that gender studies certificate was I wanted
34:46
to think more about the intersection of humanities and science
34:50
Right.
34:50
Again, there was this idea and there still is this idea that
34:53
science is objective, right?
34:54
It's a fact, is a fact and you're done, but that's not right
34:58
There's like science is part of society, it's part of people
35:01
it's affecting people.
35:02
So let's talk about that.
35:03
It's like I teach geology and you would think, oh, well, geology
35:06
is just rocks.
35:07
Like how is that affecting people or how could geology be racist
35:11
Right.
35:11
But um let's talk about oil and how oil is on native land and
35:16
is ruining their lands.
35:17
Right?
35:17
That's part of geology.
35:19
Let's talk about how, you know, if we're just talking geography
35:22
a lot of places in the US still have really derogatory names
35:26
that are like their actual official names that we haven't
35:28
fixed.
35:28
There's so many um climate change, climate change is a racial
35:32
issue.
35:33
It's a social justice issue because it's disproportionately
35:35
affecting people of color and people who are in underserved
35:38
communities because they don't have the money to get out of
35:41
the places that are being most intensely affected.
35:44
So, humanities and science, they overlap and we need to be
35:47
thinking about that as well.
35:48
We need to be teaching that in our schools.
35:50
We need to be talking about it.
35:52
Definitely, I definitely think that should be taught in schools
35:55
for sure.
35:55
And I love that.
35:56
You're a professor because you are, you're doing it.
35:58
You're in, in trying in the weeds, helping us pave that way
36:03
So, I really admire you for the work that you've done.
36:05
Is there anything professional in your work that you plan
36:09
on doing in the future?
36:11
What it was kind of your next steps?
36:13
What do you see yourself?
36:15
Yeah.
36:15
So, right now I'm a part time lecturer.
36:17
I would like to eventually become full time.
36:20
But I love being a professor because I have the flexibility
36:24
to do other stuff.
36:26
So sometimes I'll work with the National Park Service and
36:29
right now I'm helping them do an internship for Latinx families
36:33
in L A to get outdoors and to have the opportunity to bust them
36:38
out to our National Parks or visit places they haven't been
36:41
to before.
36:42
I worked in East L A with some teens doing a marine science internship
36:46
and they'd never been to the beach before, but they lived in
36:49
East L A because there's no transportation that'll get you
36:52
there.
36:52
Right.
36:52
So if I'm just a professor, which I love, like, I love teaching
36:56
and I love being with my college students, but they're privileged
36:59
in a way that I might not be able to reach other people.
37:02
So, doing these other internships or starting my Bio Nature
37:06
Collective and being to reach, not just, you know, my 18 to
37:10
25 year old from college, but everyone that I can get a hold
37:14
of, I mean, maybe it's a little ambitious, but that's what
37:17
I'm doing.
37:17
We love ambition over here.
37:19
So I think that's all really great.
37:21
There's so many opportunities.
37:23
Um not even just like if you want to become a paleontologist
37:27
but if you just kind of want to do it on the side, like at museums
37:30
they need volunteers and volunteers can literally like
37:34
clean fossils and like go on fossil digs and you don't need
37:38
to have any training.
37:38
You don't need to be a scientist.
37:40
Like they will train you at the museum, which is amazing.
37:42
So definitely reach out to your local museum and be like, hey
37:46
do you need volunteers?
37:47
I would love to come help out because that's how we get a lot
37:50
of our work done.
37:51
But you can also, you know, again, if you're in college, talk
37:54
to your professors and be like, let me know if there's an internship
37:58
or something you hear about because we do hear about a lot of
38:00
opportunities.
38:01
There's a lot of professional societies like we have GS A which
38:04
is the Geological Society of America.
38:06
And every summer, they do internships specifically for undergrads
38:11
or early career students where you go and work in National
38:14
Parks for the summer and you get paid to do that.
38:16
I got to do one of those.
38:18
Um I actually lived in Panama for a summer and I was like doing
38:21
mitigation work.
38:22
It was awesome.
38:24
And guess what, it was all paid for.
38:25
Like, not only did I not have to pay to go to Panama.
38:28
They paid me, they paid for my plane, they played for my apartment
38:31
they paid me to be there.
38:33
Like, I, I got to travel the world on the money of, like, science
38:39
and like, not only was it paid for, but for me it was more fun
38:42
because I wasn't just visiting the country.
38:44
I was like doing something there, right?
38:46
I was like learning about it and that that has been so fun.
38:49
So study abroad opportunities like working for National
38:52
Parks if you're not interested in paleo, but you want to be
38:55
part of a community.
38:56
I would always recommend looking at their professional society
38:58
So we have Geological Society of America, but there's like
39:01
the psychological society or whatever you might be interested
39:04
in.
39:04
And then also like see if you can follow those people on social
39:08
media.
39:08
Like I personally am always posting about opportunities
39:11
on my Instagram, not just in L A but like around the country
39:15
because I know I have followers from like all over.
39:17
And so I have colleagues that work in like different parts
39:19
of different states and they'll send me what they're doing
39:21
And I'm like, yes, like let's share it, let's have everyone
39:24
like learn about it.
39:25
So Twitter Instagram, like you can literally follow scientists
39:29
or these National Parks or wherever, you know, you would want
39:34
to work and they'll let you know, that is my favorite thing
39:36
about social media and being on the internet nowadays is that
39:40
you can connect with literally anyone, anyone in your area
39:44
anyone in an area where you want to be and look out for those
39:48
opportunities.
39:48
I think that's amazing.
39:50
What I found with most of these opportunities is like the,
39:53
the people who are trying to advertise them can't figure out
39:55
like how to reach more people, right?
39:57
Like they want to reach people and they haven't figured out
39:59
And I mean, that's another issue all on its own.
40:01
Like if a museum, for example, is trying to reach people who
40:05
don't normally come to their museum, but they're just posting
40:07
on their social media, then they're only showing it to people
40:10
who are already there.
40:11
So I've been working a lot with trying to connect with local
40:14
communities, whether it's like our immigration lawyers
40:17
who are here or our community center or putting flyers at the
40:21
like, you know, OG printed out style because that's where
40:24
you can find new people.
40:25
But I mean, if you're savvy and you're on the internet, like
40:28
maybe you start following some people that have the same interests
40:31
that you do or that are doing what you aspire to and see what
40:35
comes your way.
40:36
That's awesome.
40:37
Where can people find you on social media since we're on the
40:39
topic?
40:40
Yeah.
40:40
Yeah.
40:40
I'm a Latinx naturalist on Instagram.
40:44
That's where I'm most active.
40:45
And I think I'm also Latinx naturalist on Tiktok.
40:49
Cool.
40:50
Now, when you find a fossil, like, for example, all of the dinosaurs
40:54
that we've found, how do we know what they actually look like
40:59
if we only have their remains?
41:01
Oh, my God.
41:02
That's such a great question.
41:03
So, we work a lot with, uh, biologists, right.
41:07
Sometimes they're called paleobiologist.
41:10
I'm a paleontologist because I work with more with geology
41:13
But in the same way that if you think about like true crime and
41:17
we can reconstruct a skull, like we're adding on, ok, a skull
41:21
needs to have muscles, right?
41:23
So we're going to add on the muscles and then a skull needs to
41:25
have skin.
41:26
And so we're going to add on the skin.
41:27
So we can do the same thing with extinct animals mostly by looking
41:31
at what are their closest living relatives.
41:33
So, like a Saber tooth tiger, for example.
41:35
Well, Saber tooth, we know that they're very similar to big
41:39
cats of today because they have similar bone structures,
41:42
right?
41:42
I mean, they've got the teeth, but we know that they're not
41:44
going to probably be purple and spotted because that wouldn't
41:47
make sense for their camouflaging.
41:49
It wouldn't make sense for where they live.
41:51
So we can have some idea there.
41:53
We know that they're probably going to have shorter, you know
41:56
fur just like our modern cats.
41:58
And then if we're lucky if we're able to get any DNA, we can also
42:02
start to read their genome and be able to determine what sorts
42:07
of genes were turned on or off.
42:08
We can even do that with like our ancient human ancestors to
42:11
reconstruct their facial expressions and what their bodies
42:15
look like.
42:16
So it's a combination of like, we know that there has to be muscle
42:19
on top of a bone and like if a bone is thicker and it has more space
42:23
for more muscle to attach to, you know, you're adding a bigger
42:25
amount of muscle versus less.
42:27
So it's a lot of just like anatomy that we understand today
42:30
adding it on to the bones that we find a little bit of everything
42:35
you know, our jigsaw there.
42:37
That's so cool.
42:38
I have always wondered that and I had the perfect opportunity
42:42
to ask you.
42:42
So, thank you so much a question question.
42:44
Um Moving on to some of the work you actually brought some geology
42:48
samples for us to look at right now.
42:50
So I'd love for you to just pick out one of your favorites and
42:52
we can go through it.
42:53
Yes, totally.
42:54
So I can't pick a favorite, but let's look at this salt because
43:00
this is actually what I was talking about with my students
43:02
in class last weekend.
43:03
This is a lava rock, right?
43:05
This rock specifically forms only from lava like lava and
43:10
magma.
43:10
Eventually they cool down and once they're cooled down, we
43:12
call it a rock, this is what it looks like.
43:14
So this used to be lava, like literal lava that would burn through
43:18
your hand and eventually it cooled down.
43:20
And so we can find those rocks not too far from campus, like
43:24
just a couple of miles.
43:26
And how long does it take for it to cool for me to actually hold
43:30
it like, yeah.
43:30
So like years to hundreds of years for lava.
43:36
I can take that crazy.
43:38
OK.
43:38
So this rock is also made of molten rock that's made from lava
43:42
So lava and magma secret, it's just the ma they're the same
43:46
thing.
43:46
Magma is what we call it when it's below ground.
43:49
Lava is what we call it when it's above ground.
43:51
So if I say lava, like there was a volcano, if I say magma, that
43:55
volcano never erupted and the stuff stayed underground.
43:58
So do you notice a big difference between the two in terms of
44:02
like the color and the texture?
44:05
Exactly.
44:05
Oh my gosh.
44:06
You even knew the word texture.
44:08
Yeah.
44:08
So like the lava rock, right?
44:10
It just looks like one color.
44:12
It's black.
44:12
But the rock that you're holding that's made of magma.
44:15
You can see individual little pieces.
44:17
Each one of those is a crystal, each one is a mineral.
44:20
So you can see the individual minerals that grew because it's
44:23
like underground magma that's like an oven.
44:26
So you can imagine the crystals are growing in the nice warm
44:29
oven when it becomes lava, it gets shot out of the oven into
44:32
an ice freezer.
44:33
And so all the minerals are like, oh no, I don't get to grow and
44:36
you know, they're stuck this lava rock.
44:38
We said like cools over a couple of years to a couple of 100 years
44:41
That's going to take thousands to millions of years to cool
44:44
down.
44:45
Oh my God.
44:47
That is crazy.
44:48
And then how do geologists know when they can go in and collect
44:53
samples like this?
44:54
So we don't go underground to collect them underground.
44:56
Comes to us, Sierra Nevadas, right?
45:00
We have that whole entire mountain range that goes from just
45:03
north of L A all the way to basically San Francisco.
45:07
That entire mountain range is one giant magma chamber.
45:11
All of that rock was just molten magma that never like, that's
45:16
how big a magma chamber can be that entire mountain range.
45:21
And so the reason it's like above ground now is that magma chamber
45:24
was molten like 250 million years ago.
45:28
So like during dinosaur times and a lot can happen over 250
45:31
million years, essentially everything on top eroded away
45:35
So like wind water rivers, gravity, dinosaurs walking on
45:39
top of it, like all the rocks above it just kind of got like disintegrated
45:43
You can think of it.
45:44
But these rocks are stronger than most other rocks.
45:47
So still standing now, they're the tallest thing around,
45:49
but they used to be underground.
45:51
This is so cool and you know, rock, you can look at something
45:55
and be like there was a magma chamber here or like again the
45:59
lava rock, it's called Basalt.
46:00
If you want a fancy name, you can find it like two blocks from
46:03
campus which means there used to be volcanoes in Orange County
46:07
Yes.
46:08
Yes, there did.
46:09
And you can know that just by looking at the rock.
46:11
Awesome.
46:12
This is so great.
46:13
Thank you so much for bringing this and showing us.
46:16
That's why I told everyone like, you don't need to discover
46:20
the next kind of rock.
46:20
But like, you know, now you can go out hiking and you have all
46:24
this information.
46:25
It's so fun.
46:26
So funny.
46:27
I, I don't know why this is stuck in my head right now.
46:30
But I have you seen the movie where Donkey is?
46:32
Like, I like that folder.
46:35
That's a nice folder.
46:36
This is time right now.
46:37
These are so nice.
46:39
Well, thank you so much for bringing this.
46:41
This is so interesting and I now when I look at rocks, I'm going
46:45
to be like, there's a story behind me and be like, I'll text
46:49
you pictures and be like, where is this from?
46:51
I will be so awesome.
46:55
I love to end on this note and give some advice to nine and 10
46:59
year olds out there who may be interested in this field or,
47:03
you know, if they go into this field.
47:06
What would they be studying when it's time?
47:10
You know, if they're in your shoes?
47:12
Oh, my gosh.
47:13
Um, you can, like, go out and map what rocks exist around the
47:18
world.
47:18
Like we have a lot of maps that show us like this rock is the Sierra
47:22
Nevadas and this rock is here.
47:23
But there are still places where we don't know like what rocks
47:26
are there or what faults are there that are going to cause earthquakes
47:30
or I mean, we're still filling out that whole book that we were
47:33
talking about like history of the earth as it has been.
47:36
But also the way that the earth looks right now, like there's
47:39
so much left to learn, there's so much left to explore in the
47:43
world.
47:43
So if you want to just explore and ask questions and be like
47:46
why does that rock look like that?
47:48
That's what real scientists are doing, right?
47:51
Like that's what the professional scientists are doing.
47:52
We publish papers on the things that we got wrong so that other
47:56
people will know.
47:56
Oh, that's not the right answer.
47:58
Let's try it a different way.
47:59
Like that's totally OK.
48:00
That's what's really going on behind the scenes.
48:03
We're asking questions, we're getting wrong answers, we're
48:06
getting different answers.
48:07
Like that's totally fine.
48:08
Don't be afraid to fail, don't be afraid to sound dumb, right
48:11
Like you might be asking a question that we hadn't even thought
48:14
of.
48:15
So just keep asking questions.
48:17
That's awesome.
48:17
And I think it's important to also remind everyone that you
48:20
didn't start this until well into college until you were taking
48:24
this intro, um, general classes in college.
48:28
So it's ok if you figure out later on in life to what it is, you
48:32
actually want to do 100%.
48:34
And again, if you like science, but you don't want that to be
48:36
your career, that's fine.
48:37
You can still be interested.
48:38
You can volunteer at the museum part time.
48:41
Like you can just watch cool podcasts like this and learn a
48:44
little bit more and be more informed.
48:46
You don't have to do all or nothing, you know, and you don't
48:48
have to love it to be your career, but you can still, you can
48:52
still have fun asking those questions.
48:53
That's such great advice.
48:55
Thank you so much again, Michelle for being, thank you for
48:58
having.
48:58
This was so fun.
48:58
This was really fun.
49:00
I think this has been my favorite topic so far and I think it's
49:04
because of your passion and for the topic.
49:07
And so I just want to thank you so much for being here and teaching
49:11
me something new.
49:12
Thank you for joining us on another episode of astronauts
49:15
daughter.
49:15
For more info.
49:16
Be sure to check out.
49:17
We are me too dot com slash astronauts daughter and you can
49:21
follow me on all social at the Vanessa Hernandez.
49:25
I'll catch you on our next episode.