While pursuing her dream of becoming a volcanologist, Kendra has explored many facets of geology and environmental sciences. She received her B.S. in geology from Winona State University, Minn. where she completed two research projects: 1) a soil fertility study at a local organic farm, and 2) a mapping project studying the metamorphic petrology and structural geology of Berwick, Maine. While in Winona she participated in a summer research opportunity in Costa Rica, assessing the water quality of the Uvita region and the impacts of tourism development on regional watershed health. She also spent a summer as an intern for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in southeastern Minnesota.
She is now a Ph.D. student in geology and geophysics at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa working with Dr. Michael Garcia. Her research is focused on minor and trace element variations in olivine crystals and lavas from the ongoing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. The goal is to better understand the magmatic processes that dominate Hawaiian volcanism and the past, present, and future eruptive behavior of Kīlauea Volcano. Ultimately, Kendra wants to study the petrology and geochemistry of volcanoes around the world to apply holistic approaches to characterizing and predicting volcanic hazards. She continues to broaden her scientific experiences by participating in this cruise, which is her first oceanographic research experience.