Volcanologist Interview Preparation Guide
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Volcanologist related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with professional career as Volcanologist. These list of interview questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts

63 Volcanologist Questions and Answers:

1 :: Tell me who is a volcanologist?

Volcanologists are professionals who study volcanoes, whether dormant, active or extinct. They study these volcanoes to determine when volcanoes erupt, how it happens and why eruption occurs

2 :: Explain me what is a volcano?

The word "volcano" comes from the Roman God of Fire, Vulcanus. Also the small volcanic island of Vulcano in the Eolian Islands off Sicily, was called after that god. Apparently, this island was highly active in Ancient times and people believed its crater was the chimney of the Vulcanus' forge, where the hot lava and ash coming out from the crater were the visible evidence of his activity to forge weapons for the other gods.
On Hawai'i, the people attributed volcanic activity to the beautiful, but capricious and at times destructive goddess Pele, who loved fire and hated water.

3 :: Do you know why are volcanoes called active even when there is no eruption?

An active volcano is a volcano that has had at least one eruption during the past 10,000 years. An active volcano might be erupting or dormant.

An erupting volcano is an active volcano that is having an eruption...

A dormant volcano is an active volcano that is not erupting, but supposed to erupt again.

An extinct volcano has not had an eruption for at least 10,000 years and is not expected to erupt again in a comparable time scale of the future.

4 :: Tell me how dangerous are volcanoes?

Volcanoes are usually less dangerous than other natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

But there is no good answer if you don't limit it into a specific context: which volcano? dangerous to what - people, property, etc.? during which type of activity? at which location?

Volcanoes have a serious of hazards (e.g. lava flows, ash fall, pyroclastic flows, climate changes on a global scale) that relate into different dangers or risks. The risks when visiting an active volcano depend on which risk zones of the volcano are visited and for how long.

5 :: Where you studied volcanoes in the field?

In the United States I have worked mostly on the Cascades volcanoes, such as Rainier, St. Helens, Medicine Lake caldera, Newberry Caldera, and South Sister. Also, I have worked at Long Valley caldera in California and a little bit on Kilauea in Hawaii. In other parts of the world, I have worked on Mount Erebus in Antarctica and Misti volcano in Peru.

6 :: Tell me what was the most dangerous volcano you’ve ever studied?

Probably the most dangerous for me personally would have to have been Erebus or St. Helens. I have worked on both volcanoes when there was a high possibility for eruptions occurring. The most dangerous volcano for the surrounding population is easily Misti volcano.

7 :: Tell me where did you get your first job?

My first volcanology job was with the US Geological Survey.

8 :: Explain me what was it about studying volcanoes that drew you to the field? Was there something specific that attracted you to it?

Seeing the area that had been devastated by Mount St. Helens and watching the lava dome grow in the crater over the next couple years was an amazing experience. I think any earth scientist who had the opportunity to be there was instantly converted to volcanology.

9 :: Tell me what would you rate as the best experience you’ve had while working on a volcano?

The best part is working in some really beautiful areas that are constantly changing. Usually geologists are studying landscapes that took thousands or millions of years to form, and out here in Hawaii we can see drastic changes from day to day. So volcanoes are very powerful places to work. An active volcano almost feels like a living entity.

10 :: Tell me what do you like best about your chosen profession?
What’s the most difficult thing about being a volcanologist?

I like the unpredictability of events and the challenge of setting up experiments to study those events. You have to be flexible to take advantage of whatever is going on at the moment. If there is an a`a flow, then you are studying `a`a flows – if there is a large skylight into an active lava tube, then you are studying lava tubes, etc. Working at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been a real highlight, especially the people I have gotten to know through working in the field on common problems.