Meet the Scientist: Jesse Reimink

December 13, 2018

Name: Jesse Reimink
Title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Institution: Carnegie Institution for Science
Place of residence: Washington, DC


Q: What kind of science do you do?
A: I am a geologist and geochemist working on understanding how continents were formed on our planet, particularly on the early Earth. My work includes fieldwork and primary sample collecting, as well as developing new analytical techniques that can be applied to existing sample sets. I can be somewhat distractible scientifically, but I think that is a feature of how interesting our field is and maybe not the worst thing in the world!

Q: Why did you choose this field?
A: I really enjoy doing exciting and remote fieldwork, which originally got me interested in geology. Then I had an amazing geology teacher in high school who really solidified my interest. Add that to the the thrill of scientific discovery and the power of geochemical data for understanding the history of our planet and I was completely hooked!

Q: What's the most interesting place you've ever done field work?
A: I recently made a quick trip up to the Arctic coast to sample some ancient sediments. We were staying in a beautiful location, ended up with spectacular weather, and saw some amazing, completely unexplored rocks. This location, right on the famous Northwest Passage that was explored in the 1800s, was a very interesting place to visit for historical reasons. Also, the Arctic Ocean has delicious fish swimming in it.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: At the moment, I'm working on a project that aims to make isotope analyses more precise. This requires a fair bit of engineering that is way outside my comfort zone and expertise, but it's a fun learning exercise. I think the odds of ultimate success might be a bit low, but even if the project doesn't work out it will be a fun few years of testing and learning more about mass spectrometers. Also, the high-risk research is the most fun I think.

Q: What are your aspirations for your career in science?
A: I'll be starting as an Assistant Professor at Penn State University next fall. I'm very excited about that opportunity and hope to have a productive time there. Where will I be in 15 years? No idea, but I'm very excited about the immediate future and see where things go from there!

Q: If you could sit next to anyone on an airplane, who would it be?
A: Such a tough question! There are so many interesting people in the world that would be great to chat with on an airplane, but right now I would say Andre Young, aka Dr. Dre. That may seem to come out of left field, but he strikes me as an incredibly smart and clearly successful person that would be really interesting to talk to for a while! I grew up playing basketball and listening to that style of music was pretty common; it would be fun to chat with such a transformative artist and thinker in that field.

Q: What's your favorite city in the world and why?
A: Another tough one. Right now I would say Chicago. I grew up in rural Michigan and Chicago was always the closest city to us so I have a soft spot for the Second City. It's a very Midwestern city in many ways but still has the size and culture of some of the larger cities in the world.

Q: What is your favorite downtime activity?
A: I absolutely love basketball, so I spend a lot of time playing and watching basketball, both professional and collegiate. I did a bit of coaching in graduate school and would like to get in to that more in the future. I'm hoping to attend a few more of the Wizards games this year before leaving the area!