A request from me

As I've mentioned, I will be giving a talk here at Denison on the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and how the events unfolded on the internet - specifically, I'm interested in the idea of the general public taking an active role in volcano monitoring. So, I have a request from Eruptions readers - and by no means do you have to take part. However, if you are willing, I'd like to know your professional/"day job" and your geologic background - be sure, I will not use your real name or connect your Eruptions pseudonym to any information you send. I am just looking to get a hold on the backgrounds of the very savvy readers on this blog. If you are willing, please send me an email at i-84cc6bc3cf2966742ba05c49f79ef53a-email.jpg. Thanks in advance!

More like this

Eyjafjallajökull erupting in the spring of 2010. I have a request for all of you Eruptions readers! In a few weeks I will be giving a talk here at Denison on the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and especially the aspects of how the eruption unfolded on the web. I think the shared experience of the…
The steam-and-ash plume from Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, March 22, 2010. Overnight, the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland added to its oeuvre, producing what is being reported to be a 8-km plume. Images of the plume (above) suggest (to me) that it is very water-rich, so likely this is the…
The GÃgjökull outlet glacier on Eyjafjallajökull, showing the steaming lava flow carving its way through the glacier. Image taken May 5, 2010 by Dr. Joseph Licciardi. A quick update on the ongoing activity at Eyjafjallajökull: The activity at the volcano continues to be more explosive during the…
Eyjafjallajökull, an ice-capped volcano in Iceland that last erupted in 1823. We talked a few weeks ago of signs that there were increasing signs that an eruption could occur on Iceland - increased seismicity on the Reykjanes Ridge suggested that magma might be on the move. Now, we have two pieces…

Professional background: Major, Royal Swedish Guards Rgt (retired), MA Enlish (linguistics), MA History, College Teacher's exam (equates roughly to to a BA in pedagogy, a hodge-podge of rudimentary psychology, sociology etc).

Geologic background: None whatsoever

If I may (I'll do it anyway *grin*), I'd like to give you two hints - Constructivism (Piagét & al) plus logic complementation (witness psychology).

By Henrik (on the… (not verified) on 22 Aug 2010 #permalink

Professional background: MSc in computer science, day job in emerging technology & trend analysis

Geologic background: none

Hi, I have a BSc degree that's modular. It is mostly physics but includes chemistry and maths at high level and some engineering. I work in computer systems support. My only geology and biology are at foundation (freshman) level.

Hi Erik:
I am a theater director, playwright and teacher of performing arts and stage direction at the University of Rio de Janeiro. I also translate plays from English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. I have graduated in Biology (Ecology) and took a master's degree in Botany, when I had two periods of Geology and Paleontology (but that was years ago). Now I'm doing an intensive course in the Eruptions blog on Geology and volcanism (as well as a bit of Icelandic). ;)

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 22 Aug 2010 #permalink

Day job is company administrator. Geology background - None, but have been interested in volcanology since little. Currently studying BA in Ancient History and have a multitude of other qualification including book keeping and computer science.

By Dodgy Dog (not verified) on 22 Aug 2010 #permalink

B.Sc. with honours in geology from Glasgow, M.Sc. in IT from same. 15 years in the computer business, 6 years as a full-time dad / part-time fireman & hazmat tech.

Hi Eric, I am a 39 year old Electronics Specialist, my career started in the Canadian Navy working on Radars and Computer Mainframes. After serving for 15 years I had to retire early due to being struck by a SUV while I was a Bicycle commuter.

After I retired I tried a few jobs but my most recent was working for a Geophysical Company building, testing, installing and maintaining gravity and magnetic radar systems, this job was great, I was able to travel to some pretty exotic places but that only lasted until May of this year.

Getting divorced isn't easy, especially for my 2 kids but they mean everything to me so I ended my job with the traveling and took a position calibrating equipment for Research and Development companies. Also on the side I am developing ways to generate power without using any fossil fuels, as luck would have it I should have a completely functional prototype running very very shortly.

I developed a huge interest in geophysics while I was in the field, talking with the geophysicists was amazing and they always had more to tell me so when I stopped working with them I took up learning all that I could as a very interesting hobby. I never knew how many eruptions and earthquakes happen worldwide, as troubleshooting and thinking outside of the box is what I am trained to do trying to link geological events is a lot of fun.

This site allows everybody to ask questions and get advice by kind and friendly experts and very knowledgeable people from around the world, so I'll just say thank you Eric for allowing us to learn.

BSc Geology from London. Wanted to be volcanologist but shortage of action in England these last few m.y. Oil (sh, don't tell anyone), computers, ambulances. If you're over 35 there aren't any day jobs round my way - I am not under ... No day job.

By anythingyoucan… (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Professional: Bachelor of Computer Science. Work as a programmer.

Geological: None. I've read a few pop-sci geology books. I also rock climb as a hobby and am interested in the history of the rocks I climb, so have picked up a little bit from that.

By Ashley Moore (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

39 years old, retired, but sitting in on five boards of directors in 2 energy companies, 2 defense and one financial company. Before retirement I worked as CEO for 2 companies and then investment director.
Ph.D. in Physics (Diffractional wave pattern analysis in fluid states) and 2 MA in Archaeology and Litterature respectively.
Geologywise? Hm, did a five week course in it when studying archaeology, otherwise zip, zilch and de nada.

By Carl on Retirement (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Independent Filmmaker for National Geographic, Discovery Channel etc...

I've passions for volcano since I was in grade 3. I watched a National Geographic program on Krakatau and was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a volcanologist or a filmmaker working for Nat Geo. I managed to achieve both goals in a way. Maid my first trip to Krakatau last year on a new series I'm putting together on volcanos.

Knowledge: Amateur/intermediate

Not a savvy contributer but have learned a great deal since 2008. Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist. Masters in Social Work, MA Divinity. Night Job: Operate a 1 acre urban organic market garden. Day Job: Complex Medical/Behavioral Health Clinical Case management and statistical analytics in public sector managed care. I grew up on a ridge an old volcano on Oahu and hiked the Kilauea crater many times in mid-60's. Interested in Solar science, Geology, Volcanism and climate science. Discovered Eruptions through "Watts up".

@11 Micheal, I just wanted to say thank you for your work with National Geographic and Discovery channel, the risks that you take to get the images on film are very much appreciated. My children and I are always watching the shows that yourself and colleagues are filming, your contributions to educating the world is a very wonderful thing.

Day job: line pilot and flight safety analyst for a major airline. Geo background: lifelong interest, especially vulcanology and plate tectonics. Formal ed/degrees in mathematics, physics and meteorology.

Day job Engineer doing gas membrane research.

Volcanism background, well I went to Yellowstone and Volcano national parks in the same year, and read some books while I was there.

Day job:

I'm curently learning Graphic & Print Design in a small Printshop in Switzerland. (in Switzerland it's called Polygraph )

I do things like Image-editing, Layout, Design, small local Magazines, Flyers and all that stuff.

Im fascinated in Geophysics since i was a small child (i think that the Eruption of Pinatubo was the trigger). My Personal Interests are mainly Photography & Imageediting, Plate Tectonics, Volcanism and Climate

Just noticed, only a few of the replies so far have been from what might be called the 'regulars' (apart from Henrik, Renato and Fireman). Maybe they've all emailed Erik directly instead? I did, but for what it's worth here's the gen for all to see:
Day job; selling second-hand books
Geological background: BSc (Hons) Geology at Edinburgh University, some post-grad at Manchester U before a career change to co-owning a bookshop

Lifelong fascination with volcanoes, and an obsessive collector (as funds permit) of books/magazine articles on the subject

Thanks to everyone who has sent me an email or left a comment here - we are definitely an eclectic bunch! Keep 'em coming!

I emailed too, but excerpt - BA sociology, geologist father, husband - geology via 2 college basic courses and osmosis, also 3rd grade school museum with volcano theme and kiddie trips to Hawaii, Iceland, Greenland & New Zealand with requisite visits to places that steam because of volcanic energy. Retired, former B&B owner/operator, worked in history & archaeology,last incarnation was as medically oriented massage therapist, now retired.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

BSc Agriculture, MSc computers/business. Did everything there was to do with computers from 1975-2001 when I retired. Now an artist.

Always loved rocks. While growing up, did a lot of camping in the Borrego Desert where I first learned about faults, earthquakes, alluvial fans, granite, and sedimentary formations thru the rangers, my dad and uncle, and osmosis. I can sit in one spot all day a watch the hills.

When we traveled, we camped in national parks across the country to the UP Michigan, so I learned from the rangers along the way about geology. I've never forgotten the trip when we went to Dinosaur National Monument and I saw a whole skeleton being dug out of the side of the hill. And Yellowstone!

But, my study has been peripheral, mostly passive observation and contemplation; wishing I had the time to really learn.

Eric, you and the others on this blog have really inspired me to study geology. I'm moving fast in a two-fold way: reading this blog and the references; and studying textbooks. Any term I don't understand, I wiki, search this blog (and some others). It makes for slow reading, but better understanding. I think I've hundreds of definitions pegged right now.

My lens of study is thru plate tectonics-- after all, earthquakes are a big deal here in CA (I used to plot all the quakes over 3 on a CA map in my office, and in the 70's noticed a cascade-like effect, which I always thought of as Gaia adjusting her skirts) Now I've added the question of how the plate tectonics create the volcanos. Plus, being in California, I can study just about anything I want-- it's a geologist's paradise.

Thank you all. I ran across this 11-minute video the other day, and thought "This is what Eric's doing" Jeremy Rifkin on "The empathetic society" It's utterly charming (and more referential to the earlier post)


By parclair NoCal (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Professional: BS Geology - Texas A&M University. Environmental Hydrogeologist performing investigation and remediation projects mostly on Department of Defense sites.

Geological background: See above for education. Son of a mining geologist who taught geology to the Apollo astronauts. We spent most of our summer vacations from the time I was born until about age 12 visiting my father at various field locations where he was conducting mining exploration projects (Alaska, Colorado, Canada, Jamaica, New Mexico, etc). It wasn't until I was about 8 or 9 before I figured out that most of my friends didn't spend their summers learning the mining geology of the far flung corners of North America. He tried to talk me out of majoring in geology ("It makes a great hobby"), but I think in the end he was proud to have me follow in his footsteps.

Educational background:

Current M.S. student in volcanology at Michigan Tech
B.A. in Geoscience at DePauw Univ. of Indiana

Day job: medical physics (chief of clinical physics and instrumentation in the Dutch cancer hospital).
Geology: interested, spending almost all my holidays in areas which recent vulcanism.
And with respect to the flight disturbances caused by the satellite observations of the dust cloud: previous job: meteorology: surface and satellite observations. With that background I was flabbergasted by the interpretation of an increase in water vapour as dust arising out of thin air.
Found this excellent blog looking for more information: thank you!
Sara Muller

By Sara Muller (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Day job: Software application support for a major international engineering company (the software I support is the enterprise database system for the R&D engineers, mostly). I and my coworkers travel quite a bit and we just had a major version upgrade affecting several thousand users. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption really put a kink in my team's travel plans and potentially affected the timeliness of the upgrade and the availability of pre-upgrade training. Since I am the self-taught jack-of-all-trades of the group, with a strong interest in the hard sciences, I wound up being the clearinghouse for early information affecting flights through Europe. The only other geology I tend to be exposed to is incidental (the industry we are in has to do with drilling for oil).

By speedwell (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Engineering Technologist with experience in Mining and Geotech. Obsessive about all natural processes since I can remember.

While an early childhood awareness came from an enchanting story about ParÃcutin erupting from a farmer's corn field, the clincher for captivating me as a child was reading about Thera. Visiting here I am still feeling like a kid, thrilled with every new discovery.

I don't comment often but I am here daily, very thankful for everything I learn.

Education: BE (Electrical) UCD, Dublin, MSC in Telecoms, UCL
Profession: Software Engineering.
Fascinated with both meteorology and vulcanology.

Professional: Support Ananyst at Citigroup.
Geological background: BSc in Geography from University of Toronto (1986) with some first year geology courses taken out of interest. Visited Iceland in 1985 for one course. We drove very close to Eyjafjallajokull but it was not famous then.
Visited Mt Baker, Mt Hood on a vacation a few years ago. Not too much volcanism where I live (Toronto, Canada) but very interesting geology in the Canadian Shield a couple hours away

Day job; self employed garden designer
Education; 1st year Geology and MA(hons), Physical Geography at Aberdeen University.

I spent much of my formative years in Dunbar, Scotland, the birthplace of John Muir. My playground was the raised rock platform on the shoreline with lots of rockpools,mudstone deposits,sandstone and dykes which left a love of rock and of landforms which has never left me. Have been interested in volcanoes and tectonic activity since my teens and have found a home and place of study at this blog.

I have been a rockhound since I could walk. I have been interested in volcanoes since I can remember and I used to draw them when I was in third grade.

I have a BA+ in psych and a certificate and AA degree in electron microscopy. I took a geology course because I wanted to and I am now wishing I had gone further with it and I probably would have been a field geologist/volcanologist.

I don't remember how I found this blog, but I can tell you it has been a real boon to be able to hobnob with people from all over who know what they are talking about and also those who may not be geologists/volcanologists, but who have been studying it and know a lot more than I do. So much has changed since I took geology that I probably wouldn't know recognize some of it and given I took it 30+ years ago. I am in the process of studying more and this blog helps a lot.

I have climbed Mt. Lassen twice, been to Yellowstone many times, been to Yosemite many times, been to Long Valley and I want to go see more volcanoes and cinder cones, etc. Being part of the Eyjaf watch was so fantastic. I really felt privileged.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Professional: I'm a production manager for a community access television station.
Geologic Background: Nothing more than an interest in geology and a facination with the processes that shape the earth around us.

Day job: golf course maintence.

Professional: Going to Kent State for a 2 year Associate Degree of Applied Science in Horticulture.

I know a lot about geology but I am by no menas a expert, more like a armchair geologist.

By Chance Metz (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Education: MSc Computer Science
Day Job: Embedded Software

Geologic Background:
No Formal education, but keep meaning to take a class of some kind. Read John McPhee's "Annals of the Former World" a few years back which got me interested in geology. I live in Nevada, which is largely uncontaminated by organisms. (There is actually a lot of life in the desert, but looking out an airplane window around here is like looking at a geological map.) Can never remember which feature is a syncline, and which one is an anticline.

By YetAnotherKevin (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

I am a computer technician at a community college. Though I am not a professional geologist, I have been fascinated with volcanology, seismology and plate tectonics since 1971 when I was 12. I have amassed an extensive library on those topics over the years. I love visiting geologically interesting places - especially volcanic regions - and I hope to do more of that in the near future.

By Don Crain (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Day job: Product Development Engineer and business analyst (30 years experience)

Geology background: my BS and MS degrees are in ceramic engineering, so I have a bit of geology from the study of clay minerals and the other ingredients of traditional ceramic and glass materials. The study of ceramics also includes a lot of high temperature phenomena and physics as well as phase diagrams, x-ray diffraction, SEM and related techniques that are used in both materials science and geology. I had just started my job south of Seattle when St. Helens blew. Being a hiker/mountain climber at the time, my interest in active volcanoes was forever lit and with the advent of the internet began to actively search for information on the world's volcanos and thus became a regular visitor to your site.

Re. the Haiku, no professional experiance (obviously)


doug mclaren

I've been primarily a lurker, not really feeling I have the expertise or the time to make any great contribution. I have followed your blog very closely since I discovered it, and especially during the Icelandic eruptions.

I have an MS in Biological Oceanography and instruct ecology and oceanography at a small state college. My specialty lies in the realm of marine biology, although I have always been interested in geology (I was an insatiable rock hound as a kid). I am currently preparing a lecture on plate tectonics. I find the recent activity fascinating, considering that Iceland sits on what is essentially the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rising above sea level. I have learned quite a bit about volcanoes and the variations between them. Keep up the good work Eric, along with your regular contributors. I very much appreciate the time spent.

Education: Doctorate in Biology
Day Job: Associate Professor in Neurology at the University of California

Interest in Geology: As a kid I wanted to become a paleontologist (from age ~7 to ~17) and collected a lot of fossils (still have a wardrobe full of fossils back home). To become a paleontologist you either have to study biology or geology and then the other one second. I decided to study biology first, but got bitten by the biology bug (pun intended). Never got around to study geology.

My interest in volcanos is pretty recent. A Yellowstone vacation and the recent earthquake swarm up there got me hooked. Most of my geological (semi-)knowledge is still in sedimentary rocks and what kind of fossils you can hunt for...

PS: It's great to read about the background of the blog regulars here. I knew you guys were a (multi-)talented bunch.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

#36 @Holger, N California
It is a big honour to share this virtual space with such an excelling team.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Education: Student of Civil Engineer, Chile (don't want to reveal where)

Geology Background: Two assignments, one related to tectonics, rock classification-identification and glacial geomorphology; the other about natural disasters. In general I was forced to 'study' volcanism after Chaitén, but I like other sciences, too.

No day job. I think I'm the most non-geologist of this blog

By Guillermo (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Education; degree in Music and almost finished an Anthropology degree with geology on the side. Fine arts diploma.

Profession - I am a fibre artist and do part time teaching (kindergarten and middle school - I know - its a weird mix!)

Have always been interested in rocks, mountains and volcanoes. First week of school I brought home a case full of gravel because it was different to the gravel on our street :) Been the same ever since.

Found this site through reading Casaubons Casebook. I do like it too although I don't feel qualified to comment much :)

viv in nz

By knutty knitter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

I am mainly just an avid reader of the blog, but here's about me all the same: I have a degree in English and philosophy and work as a freelance translator (German/English) in a wide variety of fields, mainly business, financial, software, nutritional science. My interest in volcanoes originally started when Mount St. Helens erupted in 2004. Reading this blog, which I discovered during the Icelandic eruption this spring, rekindled this fascination and has proved to be a rich and enjoyable source of knowledge ever since.

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Doctorate in theology, degree in German literature. Dayjob: Editing books for church purposes and some historical research.
Geological background: just interested in volcanoes and other phenomena of nature for many years. I'm mostly lurking and was very happy to find this blog since I was looking for something like this during the last Redoubt eruption. I appreciated the informations and discussions on Eyjafallajökull very much, thank you all.

By Barbara, Germany (not verified) on 24 Aug 2010 #permalink

Retired professor history, economics, and psychoanalytic studies; training and supervising psychoanalyst -- adults and children. Always interested in the sciences and the outdoors. Most visited areas as "geology" -- Eastern Sierras, Oregon volcanic areas and Yellowstone/Tetons.

Came to volcanology through the need to understand Anthropogenic Global Warming and the "looming disaster" for Earth and humankind -- both for myself and my students. (Longtime reader of Science and Nature and even taught Gore's film, focusing on methods of persuasion in filmmaking and editing.) Once I began my research in depth I realized there is no valid science (or scientific method, or valid collection of raw data [maintained as unadjusted], or open methods of interpreting that data, or proper use of statistics, or valid peer review, and this is just the beginning) behind the hypothesis, but there is alot of money and politics -- and unfortunately too much corruptability in the academic world of climate science.

To make a long story short, the research led this inquiring mind to the destructive and creative processes on and within Earth and from the cosmos (impact craters, modern Milankovitch, traveling through the Milky Way "arm"). Volcanoes are at the core here -- building continents, evidence of plates emerging and subducting, chemicals necessary and dangerous to life, and new wonderful new theories going through the grinding process of scientific validation, e.g., plumes v plates; crater impact or massive volcano eruption (or both?) that ended the Roman Empire and other "civilizations" dominant at the time. So much that is amazing and awe inspiring. Happy to be a denizen of California where so much evidence exists in its pure form as well as "recently" mashed up in tectonic processes. So glad to be a daily reader of this blog for many reasons, not least of which is reading some of the most immediate volcano monitoring one can find. I am also grateful for all the links for further research from Erik and from knowledgeable and curious commenters. Can't be much better than this. Thanks.

By Pyromancer76 (not verified) on 24 Aug 2010 #permalink

BSc. degree in Physics and a manufacturing engineering technician diploma. Worked as a Millwright for a few years welding and machining. Changed back into the scientific field and currently working as a mass spec technician calibrating, testing and repairing mass spectrometers. I play around with theories and ideas in mathematics software.

Interest in volcanology and geography always, but again became quite interested when I read about the yellowstone eq swarms and a nice surprise with Ejyafjoll shortly after. Thanks to the internet access to all this data makes for very interesting projects indeed.

By Christoph (kno… (not verified) on 24 Aug 2010 #permalink

BS in Geology in the early 80's, now a computer programmer. Found this blog after the "E" volcano in Iceland. Have maintained my interest over the many years, and have educated many of my friends to the point that they can now recognize the much of the mis-information for what is :).

BS Biology
MS Geological Engineering
Currently teach Geology and Physics at a Community College in Oregon
Mostly I just follow the blog to keep up to date on whats going on. But I absolutely enjoy the wealth of information the blog provides

Professional geologist, cave mapper/explorer, karst hydrogeologist, environmental scientist. Volcano junkie from afar...as an undergrad, came upon early index card file of eruption events/volcanic activity (which was early form of the Smithsonian volcanism program notification for department?) Enjoy reading about places where volcanos have been active which one would never expect (France, Germany....etc)

Gordon 28: growing up in Dunbar, did you ever get to Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh? Small, beautifully dissected volcano (vent-filling agglomerate, feeder dikes, remnants of surrounding lava flows etc) which was one of the things that kicked off my interest in geology. -Recommended for any Eruptions readers who ever visit Edinburgh, incidentally-

Mark -as an undergrad, my equivalent to the index cards was the discovery of the CAVW Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World in the Geology Dept. library. More interesting than some of the coursework, palaentology was NOT a joyful voyage of discovery :o(

Day job: Quality assurance officer, (drugs)

Education: chemistry, biology, some geology but very basic. Vulcanology: Eruptions-educated!
Self-educated on volcanoes, childhood interest. Much of my knowledge when it comes to geology tracks back to my mom, a amateur field geologist in Sweden. I´ve been to almost every old mine in Sweden as a child, hurling stones.

My participation started with Eyjafjallajökull on this blog, in search for information. I´m staying! Checking in from time to time!

By snotra viking (not verified) on 24 Aug 2010 #permalink

I just sent you an email. By day I teach science at a middle school, the rest of the time I research volcanoes and perform search and rescue work (Civil Air Patrol) when I'm not volunteering for teaching rocketry & astronomy at a nearby Girl Scout Camp. As a child I memorized Stephen Harris' Book "Fire and Ice" (the 1st edition BTW)in 1979 and felt I had ringside seats when St. Helen's cooked off a year later, even though I lived in Texas at the time. If only we had the Internet THEN!

BSc Geology, MSc Earth Sciences- Professional Geologist, College Professor. Volcanoes were an interest from my childhood. Katia and Maurice Krafft captivated my interest with their insane and crazy adventures and awsome footage of volcanic eruptions. This blog is a great way to keep current and up to date with happenings around the Earth.

I'm currently a student, doing Teacher Education. I specialize in all forms of geography, although my heart goes out to the more physical side.

My mother is a geography teacher, and her father was a geography teacher as well, so it kind of runs in the family ^_^ . I have a passion for geology, and especially volcanism and seismology, since the age of 5.

My geographical background hasn't done my passion for geology any harm. I've always had access to documentaries and books on my interests, and during all of the summer holidays that we had as a family there has always been time for something geologically interesting. Our holidays took us to many different places in Germany, France, Switzerland and other European countries. I've seen nearly every volcanic region in Germany, and since 2007 I go to Scotland every spring to enpand my vast (volcanic!) rock collection that I've been working on since I was a little kid. When I have some spare time during the rest of the year, I try to do the same in the Eifel, Germany (only 200 km from where I live), where I've been going to since I was eight years old, and (to me) still beats the heck out of any other volcano or volcanic region in the world. Still, I intend to see a lot more volcanoes in the years to come. To my shame, I've never witnessed an eruption live (except with the aid of webcams, but I don't think that counts). I'm thinking of visiting Etna next summer, or maybe earlier if it would be putting on a big show.

I'm also very interested in didactical methods, so my current study is a pretty good way of combining several interests I have. I do not intend on becoming a (full-time) teacher when I've finished my studies. Instead I might do a BSc in geology and/or start my own business in organizing and leading excursions to geologically interesting places (e.g. the Eifel), mainly for high schools.…
"That's the one I want..." Tertiairy columnar basalt at the Gangolfsberg, Rhön, Germany

Btw: with the age of 24, am I the youngest one on the block here?

Hi Erik.
My job is as a social worker, working nights - trying to keep people safe in emergencies, whether children, the mentally ill or any other vulnerable people - and I have been watching seismological sites for a few years. I only found you all here in January this year and wish I had known you were here when I was following the Yellowstone swarms in Dec/Jan 08-09! I have previously worked as an Art teacher.
I always said if I hadn't studied Art, French and European Literature I would have chosen Geology, Geography and Economics.
Thank you to you all.

I work as a network administrator for the School of Architecture at MIT during the day, fixing computers and keeping our servers running. I studied geology here in the 90s, then just never left. There aren't any active volcanoes here in New England, so I ended up working with computers.

One of the benefits of working in education is getting enough vacation time to travel and see all the volcanoes I want. :)

Another lurking daily reader, having found your blog so updating considering my ancient textbook (Lake & Rastell 1951 edition). Failed BSc½ in mid 60s (passed the Geology - mainly as the physical question I answered was on plate tectonics, which had featured in that week's New Scientist) so decided to go out into the world and earn some money - Systems Analyst and Programmer on Leo Marconi III/UNIVAC/IBM main frames.
Retired to bring up family.
Now pensioner and still bringing up family, whilst being webmaster, computer wiz and designer for family and friends!
Have the BBC Horizons - Mount St. Helens still on videotape.
Always wanted to visit Iceland back when the only viable transport was hitching a ride on a trawler. Not made it yet, as still insufficient funds.
Moved in '83 to this earthquake prone area (we had a 7 in January) with ancient (Late Cretaceous?) subvolcano nearby with sills, dykes and dinosaur tracks on nearby beaches, so keeping up nearly 50 years of interest... along with archaeology and amateur dramatics. No formal qualifications apart from Geology A-level!

Dr. Behncke's Etna - excellent reading!
Love Lurking's plots and graphs

Nearly commented on ash content in cement/concrete -the Roman stuff set underwater and is impermiable - opus signum
Nearly commented on Carl's vortex theory - seemed reasonable to me! as I always connected mantle plume behaviour with the Hawaian islands chain.

So glad I found this interesting Blog.
My thanks to all who contribute.

By WMN, Algarve (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

Retired IT professional (not by choice). Worked in everything from mainframes, computer repair, network design, and network security. Most was with with State and Federal Government. My formal education ended at High School, life got in the way. :) Tried college couple of times, but, see above. Now trying to learn woodworking just for the fun of it, and trying to finish the mural on my living room wall.

Got interested in this blog because I have visited Iceland before, and had done some reading on it's history and culture. So when Eyjafjallajökull erupted it peaked my interest. Then I realized I could watch it real time, I was hooked. I have absolutely no background in geology or volcanoes, although I was stationed in Minot, North Dakota when Mount St. Helens erupted and watched the ash cloud come over us. Cultural Anthropology is more my forte, so I was interested in the effects this would have on people (wasn't thinking about air traffic). That being said, the discussions in here have been awesome. I have recently been distracted by the oil spill and hurricane season though.

One result of this blog was me creating a blog on Wunderground.com (link is on my name) where I posted links, pictures and information. It has been visited by people from 46 different countries. As recently as today I had a new visitor from Croatia.

One last thing. After reading Renato's input, I may have to visit and take up theater. :)

Speaking of weather... I just noticed the squirrel that comes by daily. He's put on quite a bit of weight. That doesn't bode well for the upcoming winter.

(P'cola FL)

Education? BSCS including what might have been minors in maths, physics, and electrical engineering. Plus assorted ad-hoc graduate classes (lacking a nearby university with graduate programs worthy of the name, no PhD.) Learned more from having two children in physics.

Work? Transistor-level design of integrated circuit elements that mostly operate between 0 and 1, including I/O stuff.

Geology? The natural world is fascinating, from elementary physics to astronomy and everything in between. Living in the desert Southwest, a lot of geology is there to be seen for those with eyes to see -- and I wish I understood what I'm seeing. Which is why I'm retiring to a town with a school of mines.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 28 Aug 2010 #permalink

Education: MS Geology (with focus on sedimentology). Varied work experience including several years in minerals and oil & gas exploration. Strong interest in igneous petrology and volcanics.

Work: Currently regulator for a state oil and gas commission.

By Bob Chesson (not verified) on 29 Aug 2010 #permalink

I have no formal geology background either, but a military one. I'm a risk manager, mainly in logistics and commodities, currently living in Oz. Grew up in Europe and always fascinated by volcanoes and (of course) paleontology, an interest my 4 year old son keeps very much alive. Visited the Eifel area in my youth a lot and was(am) a bit of a rockhound. Made trips to Vesuvius and Etna, and I have climbed extinct volcanoes in the US and Australia (there's one just a few miles from our house, we are practically built on basalt bombs). My parents experienced the 1982 eruption of the Gunung Galunggun from up close (stunning pictures of an ash covered landscape) and that really triggered my interest. Hoping to visit Hawai soon for a close look at a real eruption.

#20 @Parclair : Jeremy Rifkin's Empathic's society youtube video is charming, indeed. Already in my wishlist. Thanks for posting.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 31 Aug 2010 #permalink