Martha Cary "Missy" Eppes '93
Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
BS, Washington and Lee University
PhD, University of New Mexico
My mother never believed me when I told her I wanted to be a geologist. Not after I declared at W&L, not after I summered in Colorado hail-storms for my Senior Thesis, not even after I moved to Nowhere, New Mexico for graduate school. After all of the adventure and accomplishment, she was still convinced that I might go to Law School . . . Only when I was well into my PhD, with a few publications under my belt, did she finally admit that I was utterly committed, even if she did not know why. Who can blame her? Geologists are often viewed as something out of film, the nerdy old guy prophesying the "big one", or the "alarmists" warning us of the pending doom of climate change not fully understood. Even my PhD adviser, in our first meeting, felt it was his duty to remind me that I would likely go through all of this education only to end up unemployed. In choosing such a profession, we as women often encounter these obstacles; a heavy burden to move aside in order to move forward in our careers, and in our own personal confidence and fulfillment. What has held me on course through it all? I, personally, am fascinated by Earth and her secrets. I am obsessed with some of them. What other job would allow me the unbridled pursuit of such hidden knowledge? I love what I do, and I am truly lucky to be a geologist.