Emily Wolin


I grew up in Arvada, Colorado and have been carrying rocks in my pockets as long as I can remember.  I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor's degree in geology and geophysics.  I'm entering my third year of graduate school in Northwestern's Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.  Working with Dr. Suzan van der Lee, I use seismic tomography to study the 1.1-billion-year-old Midcontinent Rift.

Seismic tomography is similar to a medical CT scan.  Instead of using a CT scanner and x-rays, we've deployed an array of seismometers over the Midcontinent Rift in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario to record seismic waves from earthquakes all over the world.  By observing how these seismic waves change as they travel through the earth, we can create images of structures many hundreds of kilometers below the surface.  I love being a seismologist because I get to tackle big, complicated questions about our planet and the processes that govern it.  I particularly like that my research requires both intense computation and several weeks of fieldwork each year.

In my free time, I enjoy doing anything outdoors, especially hiking, photography, horseback riding, and snowboarding.