Does groundwater go with the flow?

Marsha Allen FP’10, Mount Holyoke College assistant professor in earth science, was recently interviewed on the podcast “Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.”

Marsha Allen FP’10, assistant professor in earth science, was recently interviewed on the podcast “Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness” about hydrogeology, water sustainability in Tobago, gemstones and teaching at her alma mater.

Jonathan Van Ness is best known as being part of Netflix’s reboot of the show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Van Ness is a stand-up comic, has a sustainable hair care brand and is a New York Times best-selling author. The podcast “Getting Curious” was started in 2015 when Van Ness took his constant curiosities about the world and turned them into a multiple-award-winning podcast, which has over 250 episodes covering topics ranging from oceanography, hair science and the environment to comedy, the Olympics and more.

Allen explained the Earth’s layers to Van Ness. “The center of the Earth is core, dense material like metals, heavy metals. The mantle is in between the surface layer and the core. The lightest material is actually on the surface of the Earth, the crust. Think about the Earth as a ball of chocolate cake. The more you go toward the center, the richer the chocolate.”

She also talked about changing her major at Mount Holyoke from economics to geology and what it’s like teaching at the same institution where she got her undergraduate degree.

“I have ‘Freaky Friday’ moments — a couple of days ago I was walking on campus. It was raining out, I had my raincoat on and I had a déja vu [moment.] I was thinking, ‘Oh, I remember walking [here], and I bought this jacket my first year at Mount Holyoke.’ And I still have that exact same rain jacket. And I [thought], ‘Oh my God, I’m back home with my jacket.’

“The spirit of Mount Holyoke is the same. Same energy. But in the ten years that I haven’t been here, [some things have changed]: I’ve noticed that this new generation of college students — they are fierce. And they are determined to fix problems. They are brilliant. And this is the first time in maybe 10, 15 years [that] I feel hopeful for the future.”

You can listen to the full podcast episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and on the “Getting Curious” webpage.

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