Jess Phoenix is likely one of the only would-be U.S. politicians with a favorite volcanic eruption. (The 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, if you were wondering.) She’s almost certainly the only one who’s led expeditions to active volcanoes around the world. But while eruptions are near and dear to this volcanologist’s heart, they aren’t why she’s decided to run for Congress to represent California’s 25th district. The catalyst for that would be Steve Knight, the notoriously anti-environment Republican who currently represents her district. And, more broadly, President Donald Trump, who has elevated science deniers to positions of power and launched an all-out war on environmental regulation and land protections. Since announcing she would be running as a Democrat last spring, Phoenix, a 36-year-old with a geology background and a penchant for horse rescuing, has garnered national media attention, a sizable social media following, and broad grassroots support within her conservative-leaning northern Los Angeles-area district. Her campaign is supported by 314 action, a non-profit launched in 2016 that’s helping scientists around the country run for political office, with the hope of solving problems based on data rather than ideology. Earther caught up with Phoenix to… Read full this story
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