Jess Phoenix

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Jess Phoenix
Jess Phoenix giving interview.png
Phoenix giving an interview, April 2018.
EducationSmith College B.A. (History)
California State University, Los Angeles M.S. (Geology)
OccupationVolcanologist, geologist
OrganizationBlueprint Earth
Political partyDemocratic

Jess Phoenix is a geologist, and the executive director and co-founder of the nonprofit environmental scientific research organization Blueprint Earth.[1][2] In 2018 she ran as a Democrat for the United States House of Representatives to represent California's 25th congressional district, but lost the primary election, coming in 4th place.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Phoenix's parents were both FBI agents.[5] Her parents were quite conservative; she has stated at campaign events that they were supporters of Ronald Reagan, and that her father only came around to believing in climate change after conversations about her work.[6]

She attended Smith College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and California State University, Los Angeles where she earned a Master of Science in Geology.

Scientific career[edit]

Phoenix has studied and worked with active volcanoes and natural hazards on six continents, including in Hawaii, South America, Asia, Australia, Mexico, and throughout the continental United States, for Dassault Systèmes in helping natural resources companies use 3D modeling technology to make mining more efficient and environmentally sustainable.[7] She works frequently in the Mojave Desert.[8]

Phoenix has given a TED talk,[9][10] appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, PBS’ The Open Mind, and was featured on Discovery Channel's Trailblazers.[11]

Blueprint Earth[edit]

Phoenix is the founder, CEO, and President of the Board of Directors of the educational nonprofit organization Blueprint Earth which brings minority college students to the Mojave Desert to study desert ecosystems.[12]

Run for public office[edit]

In 2017, Phoenix announced that she was running as a Democratic candidate for Congress in California's 25th Congressional District against Republican representative Steve Knight in the 2018 midterm elections.[13][14][15] She is one of multiple scientists choosing to run for political office through 314 Action, a non-profit organization which recruits candidates with scientific backgrounds and helps them launch campaigns for public office.[16] The organization is recruiting candidates to run against three Republican members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology: Steve Knight, Dana Rohrabacher, and Lamar Smith.[17] Her campaign is based on “evidence-based policymaking" and began in April 2017.[10][18]

Phoenix opposes the rolling back of environmental regulations and cutting of funding for research. She opposes the 2017 decision to pull the United States of the Paris Agreement and the sitting government's theory that climate change is a hoax.[19] She stated that she believes "Donald Trump is threatening [the] future by destroying some of the most basic things we all agree are important. Education, scientific research, disaster preparedness, critical infrastructure, national parks, and wildlife are all under assault."[20] She supports environmental regulations, action against climate change, and a balanced approach to dealing with natural resources. She stated in an interview that "climate change is going to impact our national security, our jobs, our health, and even our food security."[21] She supports investment in renewable energy, national parks, and improving the Environmental Protection Agency.[22]

Sterling Clifford, a veteran democratic consultant, is working on Phoenix's campaign. Her campaign has received public support from Star Trek actors Tim Russ, Robert Picardo, and John Billingsley.[6][23]

Ms. Phoenix has been cited in the New York Times as an expert on geology to explain the not-so-curious sinkhole on the lawn of the White House [24]

Phoenix lost the election on June 5, 2018, coming in 4th place in the top-two primary.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Phoenix lives in Acton, California with her husband Carlos.


  1. ^ "From a Volcano's Edge to a Congressional Race: Using Science to Solve Government Issues". Business News Daily. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  2. ^ "This Volcanologist Wants To Bring Science and Logic To Congress". Fast Company. 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  3. ^ Ratliff, Laura. "What Actually Happens When Women Run & Win Elections". Bustle. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  4. ^ "2018 California primary election results" (PDF). Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Politics Within Reason: U.S. congressional candidate Jess Phoenix (CA-25) | The Party of Reason and Progress". The Party of Reason and Progress. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  6. ^ a b "This Scientist Wants to Bring 'Star Trek' Values to Congress". Wired. December 2, 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  7. ^ "World Renowned Volcanologist Wants Politics to Include More STEM Leaders". Cheddar. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  8. ^ Crowdpac (2017-11-21). "A Volcano Scientist is Running for Congress: Meet Jess Phoenix". Medium. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  9. ^ TEDx Talks (2016-04-25), The Secret of the Planetary Renaissance | Jess Peláez | TEDxClaremontColleges, retrieved 2017-12-08
  10. ^ a b Kaplan, Sarah (2017-04-21). "As scientists erupt in protest, a volcanologist runs for Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  11. ^ "Jess Peláez". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  12. ^ "What We Do". Blueprint Earth. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  13. ^ Jess Phoenix for Congress (2017-08-01), Jess on CNN International, retrieved 2017-12-08
  14. ^ "Meet Volcanologist Jess Phoenix Who Is Pledging to Bring "Good Science" to Washington". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  15. ^ Lemonick, Sam. "This Chemistry Professor Wants To Go To Washington". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  16. ^ "HOME". 314 Action. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  17. ^ Panzar, Javier. "This Democrat and geologist says she is considering a run for Republican Rep. Steve Knight's seat – Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  18. ^ "She climbs active volcanoes for a living. Now she's running for office". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  19. ^ "These Scientists Are Running for Office to Fight Trump's "Anti-Truth" Agenda". Cosmopolitan. 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  20. ^ "This Volcano Scientist Is Running for Office to Fight Trump's Anti-Climate Actions". Global Citizen. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  21. ^ Gray, Emma; Auletta, Kate; Vagianos, Alanna; Hatch, Jenavieve (2017-11-08). "Trump's Election Inspired An Army Of Women To Run For Office. Meet 8 Of Them". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  22. ^ CNN, Sophie Tatum and Kyung Lah. "Scientists running for office in age of Trump". CNN. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  23. ^ "Geologist Jess Phoenix Plans To Bring The Scientific Wisdom Of Star Trek To Congress By Running For Office". The Inquisitr. 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  24. ^ "There's a Sinkhole at the White House. Blame the Swamp. (Really.)". Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  25. ^ "Jess Phoenix". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 25 June 2018.

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