About Dr. Siddhartha Mitra
My professional path towards geochemistry has been circuitous, to say the least. As you will note from my vitae, I got my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University. Lehigh was a great school but engineering was not for me. I felt the calling of chemistry and got my master's degree in Chemistry and Environmental Sciences from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. My thesis topic "Ambient Water Quality Criteria for 13 Priority Pollutant Metals" got me a great job as an environmental toxicologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in New Jersey. That job made me realize three things: 1) I knew very little about fish, wildlife, or anything natural but really wanted to learn, 2) I had to get out of New Jersey, and 3) I still loved chemistry. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary had a graduate program in Marine Sciences which seemed awesome, plus the campus was on a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay (and they let you eat and drink while studying in the library). Dr. Rebecca Dickhut, my adviser, was building a great program in environmental organic chemistry and the rest is history.... I have been fortunate in that I've been able to put to use much of the engineering and chemistry I learned via the various degrees to what I work on now.