Ben is a PhD student in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. In his research, he uses space-based measurements of crustal deformation to better understand explosive volcanic eruptions, such as the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, which grounded European air traffic for several days. The ultimate goal for his research is to provide guidance to scientists and policy makers so they can better prepare for an explosive volcanic eruption. Unfortunately, he cannot provide guidance on how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull — but he can model it!
As a PhD student, he instructs undergraduate students as a teaching assistant for courses and mentors student research projects. But his passion for working with students started long ago. In high school, Ben founded a lunchtime volunteer peer tutoring program. While at Yale, he worked as a private tutor and as a volunteer Mathcounts team coach at a local middle school. As a senior, he served as a freshman counselor, the primary mentor for freshman at Yale. After graduating from Yale, Ben moved to Singapore to help start Yale-NUS College, the first liberal arts college in Singapore. There he worked as a mentor to students, living in college dorms and helping foster a sense of community in the new campus. He also served as an academic tutor and assisted teaching college classes.
In his free time Ben loves traveling, camping, and hiking (especially volcanoes!). He is overjoyed to be living on the west coast for the first time in his life, and is looking forward to exploring all of California and the rest of the “best coast.”