Robby Goldman


  • University of Canterbury
  • Pomona College

I am a third-year PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow working with Dr. Trish Gregg to understand how stresses within a volcanic system influence magma propagation and eruption location. My 3-minute Research Live! talk (which won the 2017 People's Choice Award) provides a good overview.

My current research involves studying stresses acting within Hawaii's Kilauea volcano to better understand dike-fed flank eruptions, like those of 2018's Lower Puna eruption. This project builds off of work I conducted previously to model stresses within the Akaroa Volcanic Complex in the South Island of New Zealand, where I conducted research in 2016 as a Fulbright Graduate Student Fellow.

I chaired the student organizing committee for the 2019 SESE Research Review. I was also part of the organizing committee for the 2018 SESE Research Review, and served as the MC for the lightning talks and awards ceremony.

I oversaw the organization and implementation of several "TRASHCANO" demonstrations at the 2018 Engineering Open House (EOH). Trashcano simulates explosive volcanic eruptions using a trash can, water, and liquid nitrogen. I also helped run Trashcano demonstrations at 2019's EOH.

I am also a dedicated science advocate--I served as the Advocacy Committee Chair for the Science Policy Group at UIUC for three semesters. As Advocacy Chair, I led a graduate student trip to Springfield, IL, to meet with our state policymakers and discuss science-based legislation. I also participated in the 2018 AAAS CASE workshop as a representative of UIUC's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and am currently a member of AGU's inaugural Voices for Science program. This past July, I attended a March for Science meeting in ChicagoIn September I moderated a town hall featuring our state senator and several renewable energy experts to discuss solar and wind development in Illinois for the coming decade. I also assisted with organizing a second forum in mid-October to discuss renewable energy and agricultural policy at both a state and national level.

 I currently serve as the North-Central Representative on the Geological Society of America's Geology and Public Policy Committee.