What (or who) Inspired Me to Become a Scientist?

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Detailed Description

Have you ever wondered what (or who) inspired our employees to become scientists? This video, created for the 2021 Bring a Kid to Work Day event, asks that question of a handful of USGS scientists.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:52

Location Taken: US

Video Credits

Jacob Massey, USGS, Visual Information Specialist, jmassey@usgs.gov


Transcript – What Inspired me to Become a Scientist 

My name is Phil Dawson. I am a geophysicist at the California Volcano Observatory. My father inspired me to be a scientist. He was my hero, a geologist an engineer and a teacher. Our family trips were frequently geology field trips.  Our car was often filled with rocks. 

My name is Lacee Broeder and I'm a geologist in Denver, Colorado. I was first inspired to become a scientist after I realized my love rocks and being outdoors. I realized this at a very young age. However, it didn't click until college. 

I'm Barbara Kus. I'm a research ecologist at the Western Ecological Research Center in San Diego and my interest in science was sparked by my 8th grade science teacher, Mr. Smith. And from that point on, I wanted to become just like Jane Goodall and do research on wildlife. 

Hi, my name is Richard Nunn. Of all the things that inspired me to become a scientist, one of the most profound was my first visit to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science when I was about five years old. Nowadays I've actually had the pleasure of collaborating with them a few times in my career. 


I became a scientist because I love to explore, and now with the USGS I get to explore places people have never been because I get to make maps of the Moon! Maybe one day, using our maps, you can  explore these places in person. 

Hi everyone, my name is Stephen Spear and I'm a research biologist at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin and I became a biologist because of my love of snakes like my friend here Xavier. Growing up, I was fascinated by them and in the 7th grade, I learned that there was a job called a biologist where you could conserve and study these types of species and I've never looked back after that. 

Hi. I’m Rebecca Kramer and I’m a geophysicist in Vancouver, Washington. One of the things that inspired me to become a scientist was visiting the Natural History Museum when I was a kid. I loved their exhibits on dinosaurs and on volcanoes and now I get to help monitor volcanoes. 

Hi, I'm Suzanna Soileau, outreach coordinator for the USGS ecosystems mission area and the person who inspired me to be a science communicator with an enthusiastic park ranger in a state park in Wisconsin. 

Hi, my name is Seth Moran and I’m a volcano seismologist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory and the person that had the most influence on my decision to become a scientist was my grandfather, Keith Johnson, a high school chemistry teacher in Washington, DC. He had a tremendous passion both for the discovery and the learning part of science and he transmitted that excitement to everyone that he came into contact with, including his students and me.