Physical Science Technician, Alaska Volcano Observatory, Anchorage, Alaska
U.S. Geological Survey
 
How Elisabeth Faulk got involved with U.S. Geological Survey
As I was finishing up my bachelor's degree in geology, at the University of Alaska Anchorage, my professor told me of a student internship in the Alaska Tephra Laboratory and Data Center at the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory. After reading the job duties, I immediately knew that I wanted to work for AVO in the lab. I applied and was accepted shortly after and it has been the best decision and experience I have had yet.
 
Experience
I have had so many memorable experiences while working in the Alaska Tephra Lab. I am always being introduced to new and exciting tasks; however one experience that I will never forget was going out in the field with my supervisor, Kristi Wallace. We took a helicopter out to Redoubt Volcano to collect tephra samples to establish a Holocene-age tephrochronologic framework. I was able to collect samples from the field and then bring them back into the lab to process. It was an amazing trip and learned so much about collecting tephra and the history of Redoubt Volcano. After this trip, I knew that I wanted to continue my education in volcanology and have a career doing similar work.
 
Elisabeth Faulk's accomplishments
Working in the Alaska Tephra Lab at AVO has given me vast skills and knowledge that will help me in my future career as a geoscientist. I completed multiple trainings that prepared me to go out into the field and preform lab duties to help characterize tephra fall samples from many of Alaska's volcanoes. I became very proficient in my lab duties which include sample processing (wet sieving, arching), preparing samples for whole rock and electron micro-probe analyses, performing mineral-glass heavy liquid separation, and categorizing samples based on physical characteristics. I worked on digitizing stratigraphic sections of tephra sequences using Adobe Illustrator and other computer programs. I started cataloging eruption histories for various Alaskan volcanoes and was a major collaborator in preparing a briefing presentation on the hazards of Cleveland Volcano. I also participated in a lake-bottom sediment coring project as part of a project to establish a tephrochronology for Spurr Volcano and a project at Redoubt Volcano. I have learned so much while working at AVO and my contribution has been very rewarding.
 
Elisabeth Faulk's next steps
After my internship at AVO, I would like to continue my education in volcanology by going to graduate school for a master's or PhD and get a job where I can study volcanoes and their products.
 
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
School: University of Alaska Anchorage
Major: BS Geological Sciences