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V i c k y  H a m i l t o n
TES/Mars Spectroscopy Research
ASU Planetary Exploration Laboratory

I went to Occidental College near Los Angeles, and majored in geology, and then did my Ph.D. at ASU, but I don't think I'm a "normal" geologist. Through grade school I preferred English and social studies, and I wanted to pursue clinical psychology. Only in my junior year did I take a geology course, really liked it, and changed my field of study.

It was a tough decision, but one I've really enjoyed making. I was lucky enough to get an internship at JPL working on Venus data, and that was an amazing experience. What made it so was being one of the first 15-20 people on Earth to see some features on another planet! When I saw what this was like I thought--"Wow, people do this for a living, really cool!" Outside my life in science, I do really like puzzles and computer games--not the shoot 'em up kind, but where you have to understand lots of data to figure out what's going on.

What I like about my work is that it's solving a giant puzzle, trying to figure out what we are looking at. We know how some of the features have formed on Earth, and when we see them on other planets we can figure out how they might have formed there without actually going there.

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