I was born and grew up in Buffalo, New York and got a B.A. in geology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. I became a graduate student in geology at Ohio State University, and there Lois Jones asked me to be her field assistant for a trip to Antarctica. It was a fantastic experience and I returned there two years later with my husband, who was doing research on Meserve Glacier in Wright Valley.
I got my PhD in geomorphology in 1976 and moved to New Zealand, a spectacular country with rugged mountains and native forests. There I became involved in editing a variety of publications for both science journals and the public. For GNS Science this has included books and maps on the geology of areas of the Transantarctic Mountains, and publications in hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. I was also assistant editor of the New Zealand Journal of Hydrology for more than 35 years.
I married Mauri McSaveney in 1969 – this year we celebrated our golden wedding anniversary. Mauri is a New Zealander and now an emeritus scientist at GNS Science. He spent three field seasons in Antarctica, but his current research is largely on landslides. We have two daughters - Jennifer has a PhD in astronomy and Kerry works in natural hazards as an emergency management officer.
Growing up as kid in a big flat industrial city, I never dreamed my life would take me to fantastic places like Antarctica and New Zealand!