Ask Clive Oppenheimer your questions!
I write the Eruptions blog on Big Think. I've been mesmerized with volcanoes (and geology) all my life. It helps that part of my family comes from the shadow of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, where I could see first hand the deadly effects of volcanic eruptions. Since then, I've taken a bit of a winding path to become a volcanologist. I started as a history major at Williams College, almost went into radio, but ended up migrating to geology, including an undergraduate thesis on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. I followed this up by changing coast to get my Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Then I ran a MC-ICP-MS lab at University of Washington for a spell (and wrote for an indie rock website). I spent three years as a postdoctoral scholar at University of California - Davis studying the inner workings of magmatic systems. I am now an assistant professor at Denison University and have projects in New Zealand, Chile and Oregon.
I am fascinated by volcanoes, their eruptions and how those eruptions interact with the people who live around the volcanoes. I started this blog after getting frustrated with the news reports of volcanic eruptions. Most of them get the information wrong and/or are just sensationalistic. I will try to summarize eruptions as they occur, translate some of the volcanic processes that are happening and comment on the reports themselves.
And no matter what people tell you, I definitely do not have a cat named Tephra. (OK, I do).
You can find out more about my research by visiting my website. If you have any comments, questions or information, feel free to contact me at eruptionsblog at gmail dot com.
It has been awhile since the last in my Q&A series, but I think the new Q&A guest will make up for that lapse. Dr. Clive Oppenheimer (top left) has agreed to take your questions on all things volcanic - many of you are familiar with Dr. Oppenheimer from his work revising the (in my mind) standard for which all volcanology texts should be judged, Volcanoes (2nd edition with the late Peter Francis). Dr. Oppenheimer has made some waves more recently with his statement that there is a 1-in-500 chance of supervolcanic eruption in the next century. Oppenheimer is an expert on remote sensing of volcanoes and volcanic hazards and has published about determining the temperature of lava lakes and crater lakes using satellites. His first popular press book, Eruptions that Shook the World, will be released July 26.
To give some more fodder, here is Dr. Oppenheimer's bio:
A reader in volcanology at the University of Cambridge and winner of the Royal Geographical Society’s Murchison Award, Clive Oppenheimer’s fieldworkhas taken him to India, Yemen, and Antarctica’s Mount Erebus. He is afrequent contributor to television and film documentaries on volcanoes forthe Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and National Geographic; he was also featured on Werner Herzog’s “Encounters at the End of the World.”Oppenheimer is the author of Eruptions that Shook the World (Cambridge University Press; July 26, 2011), which explores the impact of volcanoes on the course of history.
If you want to submit a question for Dr. Oppenheimer to answer, either email me your question (eruptionsblog at gmail) or leave the question in the comments section here. I'll go through the questions and cull a set for Dr. Oppenheimer to answer.
I'm on a tight schedule, so please submit your questions to me no later than July 1 (this Friday). Be sure to take this opportunity to interact with one of the foremost volcanologists in the world.
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