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Faculty Friday Feature

Micah Jessup

Welcome to our biweekly faculty Friday feature where we interview an EPS faculty member to learn more about their research and interests. This week we talk to Dr. Micah Jessup, an Associate Professor in EPS.

What made you decide to pursue a career in Earth Sciences?
As an undergraduate, I encountered a few professors that inspired a deep curiosity about exploring how the Earth works and intellectual satisfaction of pursing science.  At that time, I also joined my first expedition to the Himalaya.  At 20, I had just enough mountaineering experience to come back safe. We spent several weeks on the Baltoro glacier where I learned firsthand about its dynamic nature. I walked through deep levels of the Baltoro granite and different zones of deformed gneiss. Literally steeped in this landscape, I became curious to learn more about these geological processes.  This would become one of my passions that still drives me today.  After honing my experiences with mid-crustal processes in the depths of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison during my MS, I joined a PhD research project with fieldwork around the Mount Everest massif.

How would you describe your research in 3 sentences or less?
I go to different field locations to pursue research hypotheses about the formation of young mountain ranges.  Samples that I collect are used for interdisciplinary research objectives that can establish the conditions of deformation during continued plate convergence.

What is your favourite part about teaching?
The challenge of trying to explain things in a way that students can understand.

What advice would you give to your college aged self?
Get out and explore while you still can

If you were not in research/academics what would you do instead?
Something where I could still explore.

What are some of your hobbies/interests?
Since I was a teenager, my main hobbies are rock climbing and exploration. My wife Laura shares these passions as well, so we are partners on many different levels.  I also enjoy getting outside with our dog, biking, travel, photography, and reading.

What is a fun piece of trivia that most people don't know about you?
I was fortunate to dine at the High Table during my time as a visiting professor at Oxford University in 2016.


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