When I first planned out my web site,
I thought about what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to organize my thoughts. I
was sure that this page would be easy to write -- after all, I just had to write a few paragraphs
about me. Piece of cake, right? Well, I think it would have been easy, save for
the fact that I have no idea what to write. What do people want to know, and
how do I keep it interesting? I'm not sure I know the answer to either question,
but I'll give it my best shot -- so here goes.
I was born on June 4th, 1978, in the
small farm town of Los Angeles. (I'm sure you've never heard of it.) I grew up
with my parents in Santa Monica, CA, and by the time I was in 7th grade, I knew I wanted to
study earthquakes for a living.
For college, I decided to move across
town to Pasadena, to attend what happens to be the top
school in the country (I'm not biased). It would be an understatement to say that
Caltech was a challenge for me, but I acquired an unthinkable amount of knowledge there,
and I had innumerable opportunities to participate in exciting, cutting-edge research in my
field. (You can learn about some of the research I did on my research
page.) I graduated
from Caltech in June 2000 with the degree of Bachelor of Science With Honor in
I continued my education in California, earning a Master's
degree at SDSU in 2006 and a Ph.D.
from Caltech in 2010, both in geology. Despite sticking to California schools, I was fortunate that my research allowed me to travel overseas with increasing frequency. My Ph.D. thesis focused on the December 2004 and March 2005 southeast Asian earthquakes and the long-term behavior of Simeulue island at the boundary of those two giant ruptures. Since 2005, I have spent several months each year in Southeast Asia. I am now a research fellow (post-doc) at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, although I continue to travel much of the time.
During my sophomore year as
an undergrad, I came out. Although I had known I am gay since middle
school, I had kept it a secret from everyone else for many years. Coming out was a
pivotal point in my life, as I could finally be honest to my closest family and friends about
who I am. I became active in the gay community at Caltech, where I soon realized
there are a lot of people like me. (But you can read more about this on
my gay page....) In August 2000, I
met Nick; three years later, we
got married, and in 2008 we made that marriage legal.