I was a newly minted Ph.D. atmospheric physicist living on the East Coast of the United States with a spouse and an 18-month-old daughter. One day, a job recruiter asked me if I wanted to move to Montana to work for a mining and smelting company. I hesitated. That sounded like a big risk.
As a child growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, I sought to understand the world around me. I wanted to be a scientist. I aimed to do research, with expanding our understanding as my goal. But when I earned my science degree and it came time to look for a job, it was clear that academic positions were scarce. I expanded my options by looking for work in industry. (You can read more at .)