ASU Alumna Angie Bond-Simpson grew up camping, fishing, and floating down Missouri’s Current River with her father, so it was destiny that her path would lead her to a career in Earth science. Even at a young age, she uniquely remembers being familiar with minerals not only as pretty stones and gems, but also as the building blocks for cars and homes.
After graduating from Saint Louis University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in geology, Angie moved to Arizona to pursue a career and further her education. Once at ASU, her love for science was only furthered deepened by the influence of SESE’s Dr. Paul Knauth, whom she worked with while earning her master’s degree in Geological Science.
“Dr. Knauth has a real gift for teaching,” says Angie. “I think chert is probably on the list of most boring topics, but somehow Paul makes it sound really interesting!”
What Angie admires most about Professor Knauth, however, is his ability to take on an opposing or unpopular opinion, not for the sake of confrontation, but rather for the sake of furthering science.
Angie credits much of her success to this environment of healthy discussion and disagreement with Dr. Knauth as well as with her peers.
“Learning to not default to being ‘nice’ is a challenge, but discussion and disagreement only leads to better science and dismisses any ego,” says Angie. “If everyone agrees with your research, they probably don’t understand it.”
While pursuing her master’s degree at SESE, Angie worked full time for SRP, where she now works as a Senior Geohydrologist. Although work-life balance was the most challenging part of her ASU experience, her experiences in both the classroom and the field have helped her succeed academically and professionally.
Angie advises SESE students who are interested in following her path to first and foremost get an internship in the field, for both the experience and to make sure it is a good fit. She also suggests students take a business class, for the interdisciplinary skills they’ll need to further their careers.
From floating down the Current River to challenging opinions in Professor Knauth’s classroom to geohydrology resource planning, Angie’s love of Earth science has remained a foundation of her success.