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Author Profile: Hope Jahren

Each month, we research our authors so that you can learn more about their background and how their stories came to life.



Where she comes from & where she is now: Jahren was born and raised in Austin, Minnesota.  Jahren is currently a professor at the University of Oslo in Norway.

Where she studied: Jahren has a bachelors in geology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley in soil science. 

You might know her from: In 2016, Jahren was named one of the world’s “100 Most Influential People” by Time Magazine.  Jahren has won numerous other awards and honors, including three Fullbrights, the Donath Medal, the Leopold Fellowship, and the Macelwane Medal.

When’s she’s not writing: Jahren is a geochemist and a geobiologist, invested in both research and teaching.  She is currently working at the University of Oslo but has held professorships at the Georgia Institute of Technology, John Hopkins University, and the University of Hawaii.  She also has been an active advocate of awareness for science research and of the position of women in science. 

Jahren on writing: “[ Your book is a wonderful mix of science writing and memoir. How did it come about? ]

For years I planned to write a text book because that’s what you do. You get the PhD and publish papers and then you write the book that changes the way people learn something. I sat down to do it and I couldn’t separate my home stuff from my science. It was very frustrating. So I finally just wrote it out and I can’t tell where one stops and the other starts. It’s not quite a memoir and it’s not quite a text book.” - Jahren

There’s so much more to know: I love this interview with Jahren in Time Magazine - to learn more about here, click here.