- Hometown: New Caledonia
- Major: Geology, Geophysics track
The geology program seemed in-depth and challenging. Many universities now have “earth science” degrees, which are broader in coverage but less intense. I wanted to be the best geologist I could be. The presence of the North Cascades and Mount Baker was also a contributing factor in my decision.
Enthusiasm is Contagious
There has not been a teacher in the Geology Department that hasn't contributed to my excitement about the field. In particular, Jackie Caplan-Auerbach showed me the greatness of geophysics and donated innumerable hours to my causes – projects, independent studies, life in general. Doug Clark is one of two reasons why I have selected Western for my graduate studies (my project on Baker is the other). His patience, support and extraordinary enthusiasm for fieldwork, teaching and science inspired me to want to continue on to a PhD and, eventually, teach at the university level.
Inside a Crater
My fieldwork experiences have been amazing! I have been involved in real science projects in breathtaking locations during my first quarter and each quarter after that. I have had the sort of life that other people envy. One day last summer I climbed to the rim of Sherman Crater, on Mt. Baker, where I setup a seismometer. I then helped graduate student Brendan Hodge set up a GPS unit on the rim before heading down into the crater, where Dave Tucker of the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center (MBVRC) was sampling gases from the fumaroles. That night I slept inside the crater under a perfectly clear sky, while the rest of the world lay far below the clouds. Though it might seem like an extraordinary day, that day is not so atypical of my life for the past two years.
Life in Bellingham
My favorite thing in Bellingham is not exactly in Bellingham – it is Mt. Baker – beautiful, beloved, majestic Mt. Baker. My favorite things to do are climbing, hiking, skiing, studying, snowshoeing, etc… on Mt. Baker. There are also nice hikes in town. I like strolling the streets of Fairhaven, riding my motorcycle on Chuckanut Drive, sitting by the ocean and watching the boats go by, eating pizza at the Northfork, and much more. I like the open-mindedness and green-ness of people in Bellingham.
I will be starting graduate school at Western in the fall. For my project I will study the glacier dynamics within the active crater near the summit of Mt. Baker. Basically, I will be creating a mathematical model of the glacier flow within the active crater, and in particular how the contact with the geothermal surface affects the melting at its base. This is important for local communities because increased volcanic activity, like happened in 1975, could cause lahars, loss of life, damage to properties, etc. It also has practical application to other active glaciated volcanoes around the world ... and, of course, it is a great excuse to go play inside the active crater of my favorite volcano with all my geophysical "toys"!