Bachelor of Science with Honours in Geology
Studying towards a PhD in Volcanology at Oxford University
Inspired by her time on overseas volcanoes, last year Naomi dedicated her honours year to the study of volcanic phenomena.
Naomi, who has travelled extensively overseas, attended an international school in Vienna, Austria, for five years and visited many European volcanoes during that time.
'I've always been interested in the natural environment and my travels in New Zealand and overseas inspired me to pursue a career in geology. Geology provides opportunities for travel and will hopefully enable me to spend some time exploring volcanoes in other countries.'
Naomi's research was part of a wider research project aiming to develop a model for sub-volcanic magma reservoirs beneath the Okataina Caldera Complex (part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone). This will help researchers to understand the processes which govern the style and timing of volcanism in similar types of volcanoes.
'This is particularly important from a hazard point of view given that caldera-forming eruptions are the most destructive and violent and therefore need to be more adequately understood. I'm also interested in natural hazard management and applying the science of volcanology to situations to help mitigate and reduce hazard potential.'
'My high school geography course that I did as part of the International Baccalaureate Programme, and my enthusiastic teacher, encouraged this interest in natural hazards, particularly volcanism and earthquakes.'
'The natural disasters that I heard about through the media also inspired me to devote my life to understanding the underlying science, so that one day I would be in a position to help reduce the impact of such catastrophic events on vulnerable communities.'
Although it was a tough decision between studying Geology or Fine Arts at university, Geology won in the end, although Naomi still continues with art in her spare time.
Naomi chose UC because of the Geology Department's good reputation, and because there is an active research programme in volcanology and natural hazards.
'Canterbury Geology graduates are currently very sought after by employers,' she says.
'Canterbury is a fantastic place to study and the Geology Department is of the highest calibre. There is a very active volcanology research group and the new Hazard and Disaster Management programme provides an applied avenue for the science, so it's an ideal place to study if these are your research interests.'
'The Geology Department is amazingly supportive, enthusiastic and encouraging, with wonderful staff who are always ready to help and discuss ideas. It has a real family atmosphere.'
Naomi was awarded a Woolf Fisher Scholarship in 2006 and is now studying towards her PhD at Oxford. 'I'm researching magma chamber and eruption dynamics of supervolcanoes – this has involved fieldwork in New Zealand, Argentina, India and more recently, South Korea. So it's very exciting work and definitely keeping me busy!'
Naomi says that in the longer term she would like to lead an active research-based career, possibly within an academic environment or an independent geological research institute. 'I'm particularly interested in furthering understanding of eruption processes with the aim of helping to reduce communities' vulnerability to such hazards.'