Robby Goldman


  • University of Canterbury
  • Pomona College

I am a second-year PhD student working with Dr. Trish Gregg to understand how stresses within a volcanic system influence magma propagation and eruption location. My current research combines field, petrographic, and computer modeling techniques to constrain the evolution of the Akaroa Volcanic Complex in the South Island of New Zealand, where I conducted research in 2016 as a Fulbright Graduate Student Fellow. My 3-minute Research Live! talk (which won the 2017 People's Choice Award) provides a good overview.

I am currently chairing 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.

This year, I have been involved with the following educational outreach activities:

1) Simulating explosive volcanic eruptions using a trash can, water, and liquid nitrogen. I oversaw the organization and implementation of several "TRASHCANO" demonstrations at this year's Engineering Open House.

2) Organizing and teaching an exploration geophysics classroom exercise for high school physics students at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School.

I am also a dedicated science advocate--I currently serve as the Advocacy Committee Chair for the Science Policy Group at UIUC, for which I manage outreach activities. Last year, 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 Chicago.

Most recently, in 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 am currently helping to organize a second forum in mid-October.