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Ro Kinzler

OLogy Series
ologist
card
240

Ro Kinzler

OLogy Series
ologist

Like many kids interested in science, Ro Kinzler thought she wanted to be a marine biologist. But later on, she realized that she had a love for the physical world, rocks and especially lava. Ro became an Earth scientist who researched how magmas form and travel within the Earth. Now Ro works with scientists and teachers to bring the Museum's rich scientific knowledge to kids all over the world.

Up Close and Personal with Lava
Ro's been to a few very exciting places on the Earth, like down to the bottom of the ocean to explore underwater volcanoes. But nothing compares to the first time she went to Hawaii. That's when Ro got up close and personal with lava. After years of doing laboratory work on how magmas form and travel within the Earth, Ro was invited by friends from the U.S. Geological Survey to visit the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Ro ventured to places where tourists couldn't go. Wearing special vests and hard hats to protect themselves from the intense heat of this slow-erupting volcano, they experimented with flowing lava. "Lava was flowing on the ground. We had our rock hammers and we were scooping the lava up. We were melting coins in it. We were freezing it in coffee cans filled with water. It was amazing!"

Ro is particularly interested in:

igneous rocks

metamorphic rocks

sedimentary rocks

Are you right?

Correct!

Ro wants to find out more about the origin of igneous rocks, rocks that form from magma.

Ro went on deep-sea cruises to:

rest, relax, and get a tan

collect rock samples

catch deep-sea fish

Are you right?

Correct!

Ro has been on expeditions to mid-ocean ridges in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She wants to find out how these underwater chain of volcanoes form and change over time.

Ro went to Mount Rainier in Washington to collect:

rain

ice

volcanic rocks

Are you right?

Correct!

Mount Rainier is an active, explosive volcano that is covered with more ice than all other mountains in the U.S. Ro and her team collected volcanic rocks that show what happens when lava erupts into a glacier. They freeze into long, thin columns!

Rosamond Kinzler, Earth scientist

I loved melting rocks in the lab to figure out the rules that govern how rocks melt deep in the Earth. And then going to volcanoes on land and under the ocean to use these rules to understand how those volcanoes work.

Ro's kids have never been to geological expeditions.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Ro's son, Carl Jr., went with Ro on an expedition to California to collect a big boulder of obsidian for the Hall of Planet Earth.

Name: Rosamond Kinzler
Hometown: Shrub Oak, New York
Education: Ph.D., MIT
Job: geologist; Director of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology
Known for: melting rocks in the lab to help us understand how magmas form deep in the Earth
Cool fact: Ro studied volcanic rocks 4000 meters below sea level at Mid-Atlantic Ridge and at 14,162 feet above sea level at Mt. Shasta.

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH; Rosamond Kinzler: AMNH.