Kate Hutton, nicknamed the Earthquake Lady or Dr. Kate, is staff seismologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.
Hutton received a B.S. in astronomy from Pennsylvania State University in 1971, and an M.S. (1973) and Ph.D. (1976) in astronomy from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked for the Caltech earthquake center as a seismologist her entire career.
After graduation, Hutton says she found astronomy jobs scarce, so switched careers. She sees the two professions as similar: "Earth is a planet, after all, so it's sort of a matter of looking down rather than looking up." Most of her job is consumed by bureaucracy and data analysis, but immediately following a major earthquake, especially in Southern California, Hutton is sought by the media for her professional commentary. Her local celebrity is such that people take note of her shopping, whether she is replacing glassware or stocking up.