Graduate Student Studies Volcanic Hazards

Megan-Saalfeld_web

Hi! I'm Megan Saalfeld, a volunteer at the USGS-Cascade Volcano Observatory. I am a master's student at BGSU studying the geochemical and petrological evolution of Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador.

In between my field work in Ecuador this past May and being a teaching assistant for field camp in Iceland in August, I have been spending my summer learning about the research being done by the scientists at CVO. During my time here so far, I have had the opportunity to help build a "spider" (a volcano monitoring station) and take trips into the field to maintain and repair the volcano monitoring network around Mt. Hood.

My time here has reinforced my goal of getting a Ph.D., and I hope to continue my career with the USGS to advance our understanding of volcanic hazards and the dangers they pose to nearby communities.

Ski lift
Volcano monitoring stations require routine maintenance and testing to ensure seismic and GPS data is transmitted 24/7. When possible, the equipment is housed in existing structures (like this ski lift at Mount Hood) to minimize the impact on the environment and protect equipment from harsh weather.
Mount Hood
One of benefits of working at volcanoes is the view. This is Mount Hood from Shellrock monitoring station.
Shelter
The only shelter from the wind is inside the Shellrock combined GPS/seismic monitoring station. Mount Hood is in the background.