“I never really expected to become a geophysicist, but I’ve always enjoyed physics and geomechanics. Then I took a plate tectonics course in college and discovered that I was good at it, so I continued playing to my strengths and having a blast doing what I was doing. I thought, ‘Oh, this is great! The research is fun, so I’ll just see where it takes me.’ In my junior year, I traveled to East Africa as a research student. That’s when everything really gelled for me, and geophysics blossomed into a full-blown passion.
My research has led me to conduct experiments in some unexpected places—Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, the Galápagos—and I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced such wonderful, life-changing opportunities.”
Cynthia Ebinger is the Marshall-Heape Chair for Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University, and loves solving geophysical puzzles. Her lab is currently analyzing the crustal structure of the eastern U.S. to understand its potential role in active uplift and regional earthquakes.
Ebinger participated in the November 2016 EarthScope Synthesis Workshop on developing a new community model for the 4-D evolution of North America.
-by Sara Tewksbury