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Angie Diefenbach

I am a geologist who specializes in photogrammetry techniques to monitor active volcanoes, as well as volcanic hazard analyses and threat assessments.

I work for the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), a partnership between the USGS and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). I also serve as project lead for the USGS Volcano Science Center’s Unoccupied Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project, which oversees UAS volcano monitoring activities across all US volcano observatories. My job is multifaceted and involves volcano crisis response, research, teaching, monitoring, and hazards communication and outreach. My research focuses on image analysis techniques to monitor active volcanoes. I utilize various platforms, from UAS “drones” to helicopters to satellites to acquire images and a technique called photogrammetry to create high-resolution topographic models of volcanoes. During eruptions I create successive models to measure volumes and effusion rates of lava domes and flows for hazard mitigation and scientific investigation. I am the primary data analyst for VDAP’s International Volcano Activity Notification System (IVANS) where I prepare synoptic hazard analyses of developing volcanic unrest and eruptions and communicate information to government officials and international aid agencies through situation reports. I also work with partner observatories around the world to develop frameworks for monitoring, mapping, and mitigation strategies through national-scale volcanic threat assessments. Additionally, I teach international workshops on photogrammetry and UAS techniques and for the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) international training program.

Professional Experience

  • Since 2010: USAID-USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, Cascades Volcano Observatory

  • 2007-2010: USGS Volcano Hazards Program, Cascades Volcano Observatory

  • 2006-2007: Graduate Teaching Assistant and Geology Department GIS Specialist, Western Washington University

  • 2005-2006: National Science Foundation GK-12 Catalyst for Reform Fellow, Western Washington University

  • 2005-2005: National Association of Geoscience Teachers intern, USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

  • 2004-2006: Field Engineer and Permitting Specialist, UNAVCO – NSF Earthscope Plate Boundary Observatory, PNW office

  • 2002-2004: Geochemistry Laboratory Research Assistant and Geology Department Clerical Assistant, Central Washington University

Education and Certifications

  • M.S., Geology, Western Washington University, 2007

  • B.S., Geology, Central Washington University, 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Department of the Interior Exemplary Act Award (2019)

  • Departmental Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aviation Safety - DOI-USGS UAS Kīlauea Response Team (2019)

  • STAR Award for Role in the Response to the 2018 Eruption of Kīlauea (2019)

  • NAGC Blue Pencil Award - Soft or Hard Cover Book - 2018 Update to the U.S. Geological Survey National Volcanic Threat Assessment (2019)

  • NAGC Blue Pencil Award - Technical or Statistical Report - 2018 Update to the U.S. Geological Survey National Volcanic Threat Assessment (2019)

  • USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program Award (2016)

  • WWU Innovations in Technology Graduate Thesis Award (2007)

  • CWU Center for Excellence in Leadership Outstanding Student Award (2003)

  • Ronald E. McNair Scholar (2001-2003)

  • Washington State Promise Scholar (1999-2002)

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