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Returning to campus from her home in Norway, geology graduate Carrie Ryder Evje ’00 will discuss her master’s research on Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, which has been erupting with only a brief hiatus since 1968, noon Wednesday in Van Wickle Hall room 108.

The talk is titled “Magmatic Processes at Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica: Clues from Whole Rock Geochemistry.” Lunch will be provided for free to students and for $3 for faculty and staff.

The eruption at Arenal is the longest ongoing one in the world today. The set of rocks that Ryder analyzed from the eruption — samples taken ever six months between 1968-2003 — is one of the best in the world. She was the first to thoroughly analyze rocks from the eruption using major and trace element techniques and radiogenic isotope techniques.

“While the compositions erupted in 2003 have no precedent in historic or prehistoric Arenal lavas, they may be helpful in assessing behavior at other steady-state volcanoes, and provide a geochemical monitoring tool for Costa Rican volcanologists,” says Ryder.

Ryder used high-precision data in computer models to understand what magmatic processes are causing the chemical changes in the lavas. She conducted the work at the University of California, Santa Cruz, under the guidance of Jim Gill, and earned her master’s in June 2004.

She is living in southern Norway in an area known for its mineral riches, learning the language with plans to work at a local mineral museum in the summer. According to the owner, the museum has the best mineral collection in Europe.

The climate in southern Norway is similar to that of Maine, notes Ryder.

“It’s not as dark in winter or light in summer as it is in northern Norway,” she says. “We end up with about six hours of light in the darkest part of winter, and I guess six hours of dark during the lightest part of summer. The biggest shocks for me were the prices — Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world — and the food, in which root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, kolrabi) and bread play a major role.”

Ryder is part of a Lafayette family that includes father Henry Ryder ’67, brother Steven Ryder ’01, and sister Suzanne Ryder ’05. The siblings all have attended as Marquis Scholars.

“Highlights of my Lafayette experience run the gamut basically: enjoying Marquis Scholar activities, being an EXCEL Scholar for (history professor) Andrew Fix and later (geology and environmental geosciences professor) Dru Germanoski, being a member of McKelvy House, and participating in Pep Band,” says Ryder.

Influential professors included Fix; Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, associate professor and head of foreign languages and literatures; Robert Walls, part-time visiting lecturer in the American studies and VAST program; and the entire geology faculty.

“If I had been at another college, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to be influenced by such a broad spectrum of people and get to know professors on a personal level such that they would have such an impact,” she says. “The college is a place I will always feel like I can come back to.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles