Meet Forest Balemian-Spencer, PhD student in geoscience

"Hello! My name is Forest and I just graduated with my B.A. in Geology. I’ll be starting a PhD program in the fall and am really looking forward to where my research will take me!

At large, I’m interested in petrology and mineralogy — I just really love minerals — though I’d like to focus my research on planetary formation, understanding the differentiation process, and identifying accretionary materials. I’ve always found space and the rocks in it really cool and I think it’s amazing that us tiny humans can understand the extraterrestrial through geology.

Being a woman of color in STEM, I’ve found myself in many uncomfortable situations that have ranged from awkward to belittling and discouraging. This should not be a norm for anyone and I hope to be a part of an evolution within the geosciences from which aspiring geologists with historical marginalized and/or underrepresented identities can feel comfortable and supported pursuing their passions.

I’m also interested in actively improving my ability to communicate geosciences, because if no one but myself and peers can understand my work, who is the work being done for? Earth belongs to everyone and everyone has the right to understand their own planet. And so, as geoscientists, we have the responsibility make this information accessible to everyone.

- Forest Balemian-Spencer (@fantastic_fourest)