Pop Quiz
Kassab ’09
Christine Kassab in the Transantarctic Mountains
Photos: Kathy Licht; Tinseltown/shutterstock.com
Scientist studying glaciers in the Antarctic
Kassab, a Ph.D. candidate in earth science at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, studies a blue-ice moraine in the Transantarctic Mountains. She analyzes glacier deposits by collecting rock samples, as well as through ground-penetrating radar, remote sensing and numerical modeling — to find out how the glaciers flowing through the moraine, and the entire ice sheet, have changed over time. The work has important implications for climate change, among many other things.
Who’s your favorite public scientist?
a. Richard Dawkins
b. Bill Nye the Science Guy
c. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is a female scientist in a male-dominated field. I know what that’s like and really admire everything she’s accomplished. But they’re all incredible. Bill Nye gets children interested in science, and I have four children, so that means a lot to me too.
Jane Goodall headshot
What’s your favorite grade-school science project?
a. Baking-soda volcano
b. Growing plants in seed jars
c. Ant farm
I have to go with the classic: the baking-soda volcano. I might do that with my kids.
What’s the most ridiculous movie with a “science”-related premise?
a. The Day After Tomorrow
b. Jurassic Park
c. Sharknado
I don’t think I watched the whole movie, but the way they depict climate change happening [extreme, fatal changes all in one day] is over the top. It would just never happen like that.
4. Which arctic animal should be the next star of an animated kids’ movie?
a. Polar bear
b. Arctic fox
c. Puffin
What’s your favorite climate in which to spend a weeklong vacation?
My favorite temperature would be somewhere where you wake up in the morning in a sweatshirt, and by the afternoon you’re in a T-shirt. Maybe the Pacific Northwest? Somewhere outdoors.
Where would you like to be in your career 10 or 20 years from now?
My career goal is to end up teaching, with some research aspects. I’d love to do an outreach program for young female aspiring scientists. I just spoke to my daughter’s fourth-grade class today about being a scientist, and think I changed some kids’ minds. One girl came up to me and said, “I wanted to be a teacher, but now I want to be a scientist.” I told her, “You can do both!”
“I’d love to do an outreach program for young female aspiring scientists.”