Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
As a recent college graduate, my interests are constantly evolving as I try to find the things that I want to pursue for the rest of my career. I’ve been fortunate to work on several geology-focused research projects, with topics ranging from geophysical surveys of equatorial atolls in the Pacific, to close mapping of a rockfall-prone cliff in New Zealand, and most recently, my thesis project reconstructing peak flood flow using the shape of rootless cones in central Iceland. My work is trending towards working with high-resolution imagery and terrain models, but we’ll see where I end up in the next few years.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
As a kid, I was always jealous when I saw people who worked on ships until I realized there had to be opportunities out there that would allow me to do that same. I spent a summer as a student with Sea Education Association (SEA) and that experience intimately exposed me to ocean science and policy, cementing my interests in almost all ocean related topics. As for geology, the department and professors at Williams are fantastic. I started out as a curious underclassman who just wanted to know why the Earth looked like it did and that curiosity stuck with me as I took higher level classes. I’m excited that these two fields will come together in the seafloor mapping internship.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
There have been so many people along the way who have encouraged me to keep asking questions, from professors to more informal group leaders on my field teams. Anyone that’s allowed me to question them about their path into oceans, rocks, or other types of science has given me the confidence to continue my journey in the field.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
I’m always awed by the levels of collaboration within large research projects, and the pace of technology evolution continues to surprise me. We are now capable of imaging large areas with extremely high detail, and I’m excited to see what discoveries come from these advances.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
My passion for studying and working on the ocean was solidified when I got the chance to study oceanography and marine policy during a summer program aboard Sea Education Association’s SSV Robert C. Seamans. I’m also really excited about communicating science, an interest that I’ve gained while working as a teaching assistant within the Geosciences department at Williams.
What are your degrees and certifications?
B.A. Geosciences -- Williams College
What are your hobbies?
I love being outside in almost any capacity, especially if it’s hiking or exploring a new place. I play ultimate frisbee when I can and I enjoy cooking with friends.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
I think it’s really important to act on your interests, even if they don’t fit into your perceived plan at the time. My best experiences have followed thoughts of “that seems cool and interesting, but I could never do it… wait, I guess I could!” Be sure to take on the experiences and opportunities that make you feel uncomfortable, and ask questions all the time.
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
Ocean exploration and shipboard research are things I’ve been curious about for a while, so when I saw the seafloor mapping internship posted on the SEA alumni page I knew it was something I’d have to pursue.
Krystina participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: