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Introducing Sedelia Rodriguez, Lecturer in Environmental Science

What is your specific area of research? What are you currently working on?
I am a geologist who specializes in igneous petrology and geochemistry, which means someone who studies rocks that solidified from magma or lava and tries to decipher how these formed. My research focuses on the origin and distribution of lavas forming large igneous provinces or flood basalts. These eruptions have occurred in many locations on Earth, as well as on other planets, throughout geologic history. The smallest and youngest province is located in the United States. This site covers parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. There are also very large eruptions that cover over 2 million square kilometers, like the Siberia Traps in Russia.

What is most exciting to you about joining Barnard's faculty? What are you looking forward to most about being here?
Before I got my PhD, I worked as an environmental consultant, and I am excited about transitioning back to environmental science in my role at Barnard. I'll still be doing my work on volcanoes, which is a little different, but being part of an environmental science department and teaching students about the importance of our environment is a great opportunity to combine these aspects of my work and interests.

What courses will you be teaching?
I'll be teaching lab courses for "Introduction to Environmental Science," and in the future I hope to teach a course related to geology and igneous petrology.

Outside of your academic life, any interests, hobbies, accomplishments of note?
I have a four-year-old son whom I adore—he and my husband are my number one focus outside work. I also like to run, practice aikido and enjoy reading non-science books on history and political science to relax. I like to get involved with causes that are near and dear to me, like immigration issues (I'm the daughter of immigrants) and children with disabilities. Other than that, I am really passionate about volcanoes—I go on vacation to visit and climb volcanoes, they are truly beautiful and I find it fascinating to think about not only the geological aspects, but also the effects they have on people's lives.

Read more about other new faculty members.