Austin Dibble

Study Away

I am a senior geology major with a mathematics minor studying away at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Alaska is only a 12-hour flight and four time-zones away. The temperature will get down to -40° F in the winter, but right now it is perfect fall weather, similar to New Hampshire in the fall. My favorite part of campus is the view of the mountains in the Alaska Range, the same mountain range that Denali is in.

Photos contributed by Austin Dibble

Photos contributed by Austin Dibble

Since I have already completed all of my required geology courses at Keene, I decided to do an undergraduate research project at Fairbanks. I want to get my master’s degree in volcanology, so I contacted the volcanology professor here to see if she had any work for me to do.  Now, with a couple of graduate students, I am researching the porosity and permeability of volcanic rock samples to determine how gas moves through the magma chamber of a volcano before and during an eruption. A build up and release of gas pressure is what causes volcanoes to erupt, so I am researching the fundamental mechanism to explain how and why they erupt. I am grateful for KSC and UAF for giving me this opportunity.

Austin Dibble can be contacted at Austin.Dibble@ksc.keene.edu