VOLCANO WATCHER
Liz Cottrell

ABOUT LIZ

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Elizabeth Cottrell is director of the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program, which studies the world's active volcanoes and reports on their eruptions. Her research is helping us to understand how the interior of our planet has evolved. Volcanoes, she says, "are windows to the interior." The minerals in eruptions "contain coded messages, much like a message in a bottle. In cracking that code, I've been able to improve our understanding of how the plate-tectonic cycle, or continental drift, is oxidizing and hydrating the deep Earth, where the ocean floor is being dragged down into the Earth."

Elizabeth has an Sc.B. in geological sciences and geochemistry from Brown University and a Ph.D. in earth and environmental sciences from Columbia University. She has been at the Smithsonian since 2006.

VIDEOS WITH LIZ

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HOW TO BE A SCIENTIST
UNDERSTANDING THE DEEP EARTH
WE JUST SAW A PILE OF GOOP

EXTRAS

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Check out the Global Volcanism Project.

Check out the Smithsonian’s Department of Mineral Sciences.