Jess Phoenix

Science Ambassador

Jess Phoenix is on a boat in clear blue water, wearing a baseball hat

Jess Phoenix is a Science Ambassador for the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she hosts the UCS podcast, and serves as an ambassador to the public for putting science into action to solve the planet’s most pressing problems.

Phoenix is a volcanologist, an extreme explorer, and former candidate for United States Congress. As a scientist who believes that seeing things up close is the best way to understand them, she has conducted research around the world. An elected Fellow in The Explorers Club and dubbed “The New Indiana Jones” by The Village Voice, Phoenix has worked in remote and hazardous locations, from the mountains and jungles of South America to the Australian Outback. She has organized and led over 25 scientific research expeditions on six continents, during which she's raced horses across Mongolia, worked on the world’s largest volcano in Hawaii, piloted the Jason2 submersible on an undersea volcano, and rappelled into the third-largest sinkhole on Earth.

Phoenix served as executive director and co-founder of nonprofit environmental scientific research organization Blueprint Earth, which provides hands-on field research experience at no cost to traditionally underserved college and university students. She is a fellow in the Royal Geographical Society, has been a frequent guest on CNN and other networks, and has appeared in numerous Discovery Channel and Science Channel programs and series, including Trailblazers and What On Earth?. She also launched and hosted the Catastrophe! podcast. Phoenix is the author of Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life from Timber Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and their herd of rescue animals.