Patty Fryer

What is your job on the ship? Chief Scientist

How long have you been doing this? I have been interested in rocks since I was 6 and I first went to sea in 1971 as a graduate student.

What is your favorite part of what you do? Discovering something brand new than nobody ever saw or thought of before. What a rush! It’s better than chocolate!

What is the least favorite part of your work? Reading unfavorable reviews of my research proposals.

How/why did you get into this field? My first geology class at William & Mary with Jerre Johnson hooked me. But way before that as a kid I decided I wanted to be one of the scientists in those old Sci-Fi movies who saved the world every Saturday morning on TV.

What are your career goals? To keep learning about subduction ‘till I drop dead.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do? That a research experiment is a failure if it doesn’t work out the way you expected. Usually that just means you are about to discover something unprecedented and really exciting (or else you forgot to divide by 10).

What is the most important skill/trait that you rely on? My imagination.

What is your most memorable experience from your career? Two things really, my first big oceanographic research cruise and meeting my soon to be husband (I think it was sharing escargots on the 12-4 watch). Later my first dive in the Alvin submersible.

Tell us something about yourself. Military families (Dad was in the Navy) move around a lot so I’ve lived in lots of places. I have a husband who is a geophysicist and a daughter studying art history. We have two Siberian huskies and they like to go for long, fast walks. That keeps me in shape. Sewing and “chick flicks” keep me sane (hmmmm… sort of).