Recently, two local teenagers from Washington, D.C., and Virginia interviewed NMNH Geologist Ben Andrews. Luís and Camile are recent graduates from the museum’s Youth Engagement Through Science (YES!) program, which connects local youth with Smithsonian scientists to gain hands-on experience with natural history research and science communication. After expressing interest in the opportunity to meet one the museum’s 400-plus scientists, they were invited back to interview Ben about his research on volcanoes and the museum’s Rock and Ore Collection, of which he is Acting Curator in Charge.
Luís and Camile met Ben in his office to interview him and then returned to the museum at a later date to help NMNH educators Adam Blankenbicker and Rebecca Bray create a series of podcasts. Each segment of the podcast series focuses on an aspect of volcanoes, Ben’s research, or the Rock & Ore Collection. You can stream these audio files below.
Listen to Ben explaining how volcanoes work to the students:
The Department of Mineral Science’s Cold-Seal Hydrothermal furnaces which
Ben Andrews uses in his experiments to simulate pressure (up to 300 MPa) and
temperature (up to 950°C) conditions that are found in the middle to upper crust
of the Earth. Photo by Ben Andrews, Smithsonian.
The Experimental Volcanology Laboratory located at the Museum Support
Center (MSC) in Suitland, MD is a facility that permits the study of particle-laden
density currents that model pyroclastic flows from volcanoes. The one-of-a-kind
“tank” uses a custom set of red, blue and green laser sheets to illuminate different
planes within the experiments to provide 3D insights into the understanding of
natural pyroclastic flows. Photo by Ben Andrews, Smithsonian.
This National Museum of Natural History Volcano podcast series referenced above is generously funded by the Ruth Osterweis Selig and Rollyn Osterweis Krichbaum Endowment for the Public Understanding of Research about Nature and Culture.