Dr. Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, is the first of two joint NCSA/Dept. of Geology Colloquia focusing on the computational challenges of monitoring active volcanic systems. The Alaska Volcano Observatory is responsible for monitoring volcanic activity at the state's volcanoes—54 of which are historically active, over 90 of which have been active in the Holocene, and of which only 30 have in situ monitoring instruments. Alaska's volcanoes span 1700 miles and exhibit a range of eruptive and precursory behaviors. These factors require a variety of approaches in forecasting and communicating volcanic activity, from well-monitored Redoubt and Augustine in the populous Cook Inlet region, to unmonitored Bogoslof in the Aleutian Island chain. I'll share how we approach forecasting and hazard communication now, and discuss some ideas for future directions.
Dr. Michelle Coombs received her BA from Williams College in 1994 and her PhD from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2001. As a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey since 2001, first in Menlo Park, CA, then at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), Michelle's work has sought to understand myriad aspects of volcano behavior, including subsurface magma movement, eruption dynamics, mass movements from unstable volcanic slopes, and the frequency and magnitude of prehistoric eruptions. In 2016, Michelle became Scientist-in-Charge of AVO. In this role she guides eruption responses, volcano monitoring and research, and works with partner agencies to make sure information about Alaska’s volcanic activity is communicated effectively to the public.
Join us for a reception after the colloquium in "The Core" commons area of the Natural History Building.