Seattle-based geologist/naturalist educates ship passengers during voyages in the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

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Grace Winer

What do you do? I am a geologist/naturalist working as an expedition team member on worldwide educational expedition voyages. My emphasis in geology is volcanology.

How did you get started in that field? I began sailing as a volunteer crew/educator on Sound Experience’s historic schooner Adventuress here in Puget Sound. Environmental stewardship was an important part of the program on the Adventuress, and these values carry over to my work on larger ships to many countries, especially in the North Pacific, the North Atlantic and the Arctic.

What’s a typical day like? Days begin early on deck as we scan the sea for whales, walruses, seals, sea birds and polar bears. The shore is searched for bears (polar or brown, depending on the location), foxes, wolves, reindeer, sea bird nesting colonies and — in places — erupting volcanoes. Zodiac landings take us ashore where we study the flora and fauna, the rocks, glaciers and volcanoes — and sometimes climb those volcanoes. In the evening I give a presentation on the geology of the area.

What’s the best part of the job? There are many “best parts,” such as the places I go and the people I meet; however, the most satisfying part for me is to see how thrilled people are when they begin to learn about and understand geology.

What surprises people about what you do? Many people are surprised that I am paid to do a job I love so much.

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