Angie Diefenbach (BS Geology, 2004)

Cascades Volcano Observatory Geologist in Vancouver, Washington

I 'm a geologist in the USGS-USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Program at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, WA.

After CWU, I worked for one year with the PNW office of the Plate Boundary Observatory, followed by a summer internship (NAGT program) with the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO). I was fortunate to have an internship during the 2004 eruption of Mount St. Helens, where I found inspiration to develop a research project to quantify dome growth using accessible techniques. I took this idea to graduate school at WWU and developed a rapid, cost-effective method of photogrammetry to monitor active lava flows and domes.

Right before I defended at WWU, I accepted a job at CVO and have been working here since 2007. I have been able to use my photogrammetry approach at volcanoes in Chile, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii and continue to develop more advanced photogrammetric modeling techniques. My work at CVO has involved a wide variety of research and monitoring duties that include photogrammetric analyses, GIS and remote sensing, database work on active volcanism and monitoring instrumentation, community vulnerability assessments, population and land cover modeling, national-scale threat assessments, eruption responses, gas sampling, and tephra mapping.

I recently (this month) started a new position in our international unit - the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), where I will migrate my research efforts over to international volcanism and will focus on developing an International Volcano Alert Notification System (IVANS). It's a challenging and rewarding job that I love!

I wouldn't be where I am today without the mentorship I received at CWU Geology. The professors really took the time to guide me through undergraduate research even when they had full plates with teaching, research, and graduate students. You don't always find this at universities! They were always there to answer questions or provide advice.

One of the greatest things about CWU geology is the push for hands-on geology with the number of opportunities available to take part in undergraduate research and field work as well as the variety of field trips offered in the classes. Experiencing geology first-hand is when you learn the most. I have fond memories of Bishop, Hawaii, geology club, late nights looking into the microscope, conferences, research projects, and the list goes on. Simply stated, CWU Geology Rocks!

The attached photo is of me looking up the primary pyroclastic flow channel of the 2010 eruption (VEI 4) of Merapi Volcano, Indonesia.

Information last updated on Mar 7, 2012