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Oct. 9, 2015
By Brett Fredenberg, media relations assistant
|Rose looks out over Heimaey, Iceland's primary fishing harbor and the only permanently settled town among the Westman Islands. Rose is standing on Eldfell, a composite cone spanning more than 200 meters that formed during a massive eruption on the eastern side of the island in 1973.|
Northwest Missouri State University student MC Rose has a passion for the planet and the natural world. During the summer months, she took that passion to Iceland and spent three and a half weeks studying volcanology throughout the region.
Rose, an environmental geology major and geography minor from Omaha, Neb., wanted to enhance her education and fulfill a field work requirement by studying abroad. While her major focuses on topics such as sustainable land use and environmental hazards, Rose seized the opportunity to study in Iceland.
“Iceland is the place to go for geology, and I personally love learning about Viking culture,” she said.
Rose worked with a team of professors and students from throughout the United States while traveling throughout Iceland. They spent seven-hour days, four days a week, exploring areas spanning 2 to 5 square miles and ranging in elevation. The team created a geologic map of lava flows, reported rock descriptions and created a geologic time table.
“We explored Iceland from the south coast where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge comes ashore to the highlands in northwest fjords,” she said. “We covered subjects ranging from basaltic and rhyolitic lava flows, tephra characterization, phreatomagmatic features, subglacial volcanism, volcano monitoring and geothermal power.”
Camping in Iceland for three and a half weeks also presented physical and academically demanding challenges.
“Some days we would be out the field and it would be rainy and cold, and my hands would hurt from trying to map in the crazy winds,” Rose said. “Some days we would hike up cliffs that were 600 to 800 feet high. Some projects would require me to be up for 23 hours in a day to finish a project.”
She added, “My major is probably the only major where you can have a class in a volcano crater, a lava tube or a glacial fjord. I learned that the sun will always shine … for 21 hours a day in the Iceland summer. I learned that even if something says it’s 100 percent waterproof, it’s not.”
Rose says she grew from her experiences in Iceland and benefitted by being immersed in a different culture.
“I loved meeting the people,” she said. “They were always willing to help me out and they wanted to get to know me. The island was beautiful. Everywhere I went there was a volcano to climb, a beautiful waterfall or a cave to explore. It was incredible.”
After earning her degree from Northwest, Rose plans to pursue a career in environmental protection or at a national park.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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