Grace Vitkauskas, PhD

On Shaky Ground

Brilliant, friendly, and self-confident Dr. Cari Lynn Weiss, the daughter of two full professors, begins a tenure-track assistant professorship in Geophysics. She is alone for the first time in her life because her fiancé abruptly ended their long-term engagement. She puts all her energy into her computer program to predict earthquakes.

A week later she meets Jim D’Andrea, her graduate student for the summer. Tall, well-built Jim, the son of the town floozy, graduated from the Air Force

Academy and rose quickly through the ranks, until Lt Colonel James ‘Dandy’ D’Andrea was badly injured ejecting from an experimental plane. He needs yet another surgery but doesn’t ever plan to be operated on again. He’s just passing time as a graduate student until the inevitable.

After a department summer party Cari and Jim end up in bed. Three months later she is shocked to learn she is pregnant. As the earthquakes her method has predicted begin to occur, she becomes a tv geophysicist. Six months pregnant and now married to Jim, she receives a grant from the USGS to study the rift her method has predicted under the Pacific. To her consternation, her OB forbids her to go to sea on the research ship. Jim takes her place and clearly demonstrates his leadership ability.

Suddenly, her position in the department, her relationship with Jim, and the earth beneath her are all on shaky ground.


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