Dr. Rufus Catchings, USGS Geophysicist

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Detailed Description

USGS geophysicist Dr. Rufus Catchings, brings insights to the importance of diversity and perseverance in the earth science field. 


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:15

Location Taken: Menlo Park, CA, US



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Dr. Rufus Catchings joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1979.

Catchings, one of the first African-American research geophysicist  to join  the organization, achieved a much-lauded career in geophysical science.

I became interested in geophysics because really I wanted to understand things that we can’t see beneath our feet, I wanted to have a method to look and understand those things.

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Catchings completed his Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University.

Often the only African-American student in his programs, Catchings faced many challenges; but persevered to pioneer many geophysical  research methods.

Catchings is optimistic that more focused efforts in exposing underrepresented groups to the

geosciences will increase diversity.

It helps to see somebody like you, that  looks like you. And you say ‘ok well if they did, then I can do it.”