LC: As a biology student, I’ll sometimes be walking down the street, living my daily life, and something will stop me--"Why are this tree’s leaves this shape?” or whatever. I wonder, when do geology or seismology or the earth sciences pop up in your daily life?
ML: Well this is particularly because in the last five years I’ve started doing a bunch of scientific work in eastern North America, deploying seismometers to understand the structure of the crust and mantle. I really do experience driving around and seeing rocks on the side of the highway differently I think than probably most people. And I’m a geophysicist, I work with seismic data and think about the deep earth; I’m not a classical geologist who spends a lot of research time walking around on outcrops trying to look at rocks. But earth scientists really do get into the mind of looking at a rock or an outcrop or whatever and thinking about the story that it tells about how the Earth works.