After reading about a woman who worked for NASA, I wanted to become an astronomer for NASA. Then, years later, I saw my first volcano erupt, and that changed my mind forever. I was on Mount Etna in Sicily in July of 1979 when the volcano started erupting. The active crater had a beautiful fire fountain spurting red lava about 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters) up into the air. It was the most beautiful spectacle, and I was hooked on volcanoes from then on. I studied astronomy at the University of London, and I got my doctorate in planetary science in 1986.