It’s finally done! I began a PhD thinking one finished with a “big bang” of the viva voce, with its teeming discussion with your examiners and, afterwards, continuing the debate over drinks. It turns out you leave a PhD by a series of bangs and whimpers, from the original submission, through the viva, corrections, exam board meetings … until one grey weekday, an unassuming letter comes to say it’s all over. The relief!
I called my thesis “Todo se oscureció” (“Everything went dark” in Spanish) after a phrase used by local people living on the flanks of Fuego to describe what they experienced when the volcano erupted in 1974 and 2018. I think the phrase conveys a powerful sense of confusion that speaks to how memory shapes response to volcanic eruptions. On the other hand, a single person can’t hope to have the long-term perspective that a satellite sensor or camera provides across years of activity. These perspectives and experiences are woven together in my thesis to understand just how dynamic volcanic risk is (even around a single volcano!) when we look at it from many points of view.
You can read the thesis here: https://bit.ly/3AWeZBQ
P.S. There are 16 Easter eggs hidden in the thesis – can you find them all?