Ever Wonder

Q: What’s a person called if he or she studies volcanoes?

A: A volcanologist. Most people who make careers out of studying volcanoes go to college or graduate school for a scientific or technical field. The range of specialties, though, varies greatly. Aspiring volcanologists can be trained in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, biology, biochemistry, mathematics, statistics, engineering, atmospheric science, remote sensing and other related fields.

Volcanologists have a number of jobs. They can identify rock outcrops, formations and features on the ground, as well as their exact locations on aerial photographs and topographic maps or in computerized geographic information systems. Volcanologists also collect volcanic rock and ash samples from sites located on or around the volcano, then use laboratory techniques to determine their chemistry and mineral compositions.

– By Katie Niekerk, Staff Writer

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

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