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Dawn C.S. Ruth, PhD

I use geochemical and diffusion datasets to investigate mafic volcanism in subduction zones. I am interested in open vent processes, explosive mafic eruptions, plumbing system dynamics, and the interplay between tectonics and eruptive style.

My interests lie in discovering the driving forces of explosive basaltic volcanism often observed at volcanoes such as Llaima (Chile), Mayon (Philippines), and Stromboli (Italy) among others. This includes trying to determine what causes transitions from passive degassing to paroxysmal (large) explosions in basaltic centers. I am also interested in linking physical volcanology (including geophysical monitoring) and petrology/geochemistry to create a more detailed picture of the processes occurring in the volcanic conduit, which will hopefully lead to better process-based predictive models for hazard assessment.

Professional Experience

  • 2019-present: Research Geologist and EPMA-SEM Lab Manager, USGS California Volcano Observatory

  • 2018-2019: Visiting Assistant Professor, Ohio University

  • 2017-2018: Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Charleston

  • 2014-2017: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Earth Observatory of Singapore

  • 2013-2014: American Dissertation Fellow, University at Buffalo

  • 2011-2012: Visiting Assistant Professor, Fredonia State University

  • 2008-2011, 2012-2013: TA, Department of Geology, University at Buffalo

  • 2006-2008: Senior Geological Research Associate, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources

Education and Certifications

  • PhD: 2014, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

  • MS: 2006, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, USA

  • BA: 2002, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, USA

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • Geological Society of America

  •  American Geophysical Union

  • International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior

  • Mineralogical Society of America

Honors and Awards

  • 2013: American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship

  • 2013: University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship

  • 2012: NSF East Asian and Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship

  • 2011: Finalist for University at Buffalo Alumni Association Alumnae Scholarship

  • 2010: Smithsonian Graduate Student Fellowship

  • 2002: Oberlin College Wharton Prize for Geology

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government