Laugavegur Trail

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My research interests include volcanoes of all sizes and flavors and how humans have interacted with volatile volcanic environments throughout history. My work is dominantly physical volcanology, which focuses on mapping, making stratigraphic sections, and collecting samples to determine eruptive histories of different volcanoes. My work has taken me around the world from the American southwest to Hawaii, Ecuador, Mexico, Japan, Iceland, and most recently Tanzania. While I do not directly advise geology majors, I have worked with undergraduates interested in volcanic projects while they are under the advisement from other faculty in the department.


Storsula volcano Iceland

Storasula Volcano, Laugavegur Trail, Iceland



Seth Hewitt Appalachian State

Seth Hewitt, with carbonatite ash war paint atop Ol Doinyo Lengai



Tanzanian Flag


My work in Tanzania is in support of the greater Ngare Sero Project headed by Dr. Cynthia Liutkus (Appalachian State Geology Department). I am currently working with geology major Seth Hewitt on trying to determine which volcano erupted an ash that was the medium into which some early Homo sapiens left a fossil foot-print record. The landscape is astounding, the culture, fascinating, and the people, infinitely interesting. More Pics...


Mexico Flag


      While in Mexico a few years back, I studied a lovely little volcano named Cerro Pinto. Word on the calle was that somewhere in the mountain laid seven wagons of Spanish gold from the days of the conquistadors. I found no gold, but I did tease out the suprisingly complex eruptive history of the tuff-ring dome complex. If you are interested, here is a link to a PDF of the recently published manuscript in the Bulletin of Volcanology as well as a link to the entire thesis if you have WAAAAY too much time on your hands. Enjoy!

Cerro Pinto Paper

Master's Thesis




Cerro Pinto


Yakedake volcano

Crater Lake on top of Yakedake Volcano, Nagano, Japan

Japan Flag


     In 2006 I won an NSF sponsored East Asia Pacific Summer Institute fellowship to work in Japan. For 2 months I lived in the city of Matsumoto, nestled in an area aptly named the Japanese Alps. There, I studied an ill-tempered volcano named Yakedake with Shin'ya Hashimoto and Yasuyuki Miyake from Shinshu University. Steam explosions from the volcano had killed members of a construction crew a few years before. Our goal was to determine the hazard potential of the restless volcano. Primarily, we wanted to know whether the volcano was more likely to produce passive lava flows or dynamic and potentially deadly pyroclastic flows, or both as the case turned out to be.
Those interested in reading about it (and can read Japanese) can do so here. For the English speakers, a brief report is here