John Lyons

John  Lyons
  • PhD Geophysical Engineering 0

John Lyons earned a BS in Geology from Missouri State University in 2002, and an MS in Geology from the University of Idaho in 2004. He spent two years in the Peace Corps, and then earned a PhD in Geophysics from Michigan Tech in 2011.

“Graduate school really formed me into a life-long learner and explorer,” says Lyons. His research involved characterizing eruptive behavior at Fuego Volcano, Guatemala, initially by using some classic observational techniques while in the Peace Corps, and then transitioning into the use of cutting-edge geophysical and remote sensing methods as his PhD research gained depth and breadth.

The secret to his success? “All of the great field work opportunities; living at the base of an active volcano, and learning Spanish in the Peace Corps; the addition of volcano seismologist Dr. Greg Waite to the faculty; Dr. Bill Rose’s incredible passion for geology, volcanology, and international experiences; exploring the UP. . . the list goes on. It is also difficult to surpass the variety and richness that two years in the Peace Corps program provided. Those two years provided the basis for the rest of my PhD, and, I believe, changed the course of my life.”

Upon graduation, Lyons initially worked abroad on volcano-related geophysics, first on a short postdoc in Japan at the Earthquake Research Institute— University of Tokyo, and then at the Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Quito, Ecuador. He is now back stateside in Anchorage, Alaska, starting a USGS Mendenhall postdoc with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, where he will be working on characterizing and modeling infrasound and seismic signals from active volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands. 

“If you are interested in what geophysics can tell you about dynamic Earth processes, then go for it. And it certainly helps
to have the support of great teachers, mentors, and fellow students along the way, so be sure to surround yourself with them.”
—John Lyons

This profile appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of  On the Faultline Volume 2, Number 5.