Jess Phoenix to Serve as New “Science Ambassador” and Podcast Host

Published Jan 31, 2023

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has hired Jess Phoenix, a geologist, explorer and science communicator, to host a new incarnation of the organization’s podcast and serve as an ambassador to the public for putting science into action to solve the planet’s most pressing problems.

Specializing in volcanoes and natural hazards, Phoenix regularly makes guest appearances on CNN and other networks and has appeared in numerous Discovery Channel and Science Channel programs and series, including Trailblazers and What On Earth? In addition, she created and hosted the podcast Catastrophe! and is the author of “Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life.”

“We’re thrilled to have Jess onboard,” said Suzanne Shaw, communications director at UCS. “She’s brought science to life for millions of people through her subject matter expertise, excellent communication skills, insatiable curiosity, and the joy she exudes about exploration. There’s no doubt she’ll continue to inspire and motivate our podcast audience, both those who want to be entertained and those seeking solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. I can’t wait to see where she takes a new version of our podcast.”

As a scientist who believes that seeing things up close is the best way to understand them, Phoenix has conducted research around the world, including on federal and academic projects. An elected Fellow in The Explorers Club and dubbed “The New Indiana Jones” by The Village Voice, Phoenix’s work has taken her to remote and dangerous places, from the mountains and jungles of South America to the Australian Outback.

“I see serving as a science ambassador for UCS as a new opportunity in my career to share the joys of discovery and science with the public,” said Phoenix. “Our new podcast will take on different forms of storytelling with a broader scope, but at its heart we’ll still be communicating how science can be put into action to build a healthier planet, a safer world, and a more equitable society.”

Phoenix will replace Colleen McDonald who launched UCS’s original podcast, Got Science?, in 2017. McDonald, who plans to retire, will introduce and hand over the reins to Phoenix on the Got Science? podcast today.