What Is a Volcanologist?

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Volcanologists are professionals who study volcanoes, whether dormant, active or extinct. They study these volcanoes to determine when volcanoes erupt, how it happens and why eruption occurs.

To become a volcanologist, a bachelor of science degree is essential, and Volcano Live lists the study topics for aspiring volcanologists. These topics include chemistry, physics, geology, geophysics, oceanography and meteorology. In addition, most volcanologists complete graduate programs, often earning doctoral degrees.

Volcanologists may be employed by government agencies that monitor volcano activities and prepare people for emergencies. Some are employed by colleges or universities for research work and teaching. Another source of employment is volcano observatory organizations.