Hi Tamsin Mather! What is your job and what is the most exciting part about the work that you do?
I am a volcanologist. This means that I study volcanoes and try to understand the science behind the way they behave and the effects that they have on Earth and other planets. The most exciting part of my job is going out to volcanoes to make measurements but I also get very excited when I find out something new about volcanoes in the lab or sitting at my computer here in the office.
What motivated and inspired you to pursue a career in the STEM industry?
I really liked maths and problem solving and understanding how and why things work.
What is the biggest misconception about your job?
That we spend all our time in a silver suit clambering around volcanoes!
What were you like as a child and what interests and hobbies did you have?
I was really into planets and space but also really loved being outside – especially in or on the sea – and arts and crafts also.
What advice would you give your eight-year-old self about building a career in space?
Follow your dreams and interests and be determined even when it’s hard work.
Why do you think it’s important for humans travel and explore Mars?
Exploring Mars will give us key pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that we need to piece together the mystery of our own existence.
Where do you think we’ll be in 50 years in terms of Mars exploration?
I hope that humans will have been to Mars and come safely back bringing samples and other key information back with them.
Tamsin Mather appears in Activity 3.3 Mighty Mons in Chapter Three of the Mars Diary. Download and print the activity and teaching notes here.