Senior geosciences major Eloise Andry ‘14 has been named a Thomas J. Watson Fellow for 2014-15. Recognizing graduating seniors of “unusual promise,” the Fellowship provides a stipend of $28,000 to fund a year of independent study and travel outside of the United States. Selected from nearly 700 applicants, Eloise is one of 43 students to receive the honor this year.
A double major in Chinese and geosciences, Eloise will use her Watson fellowship to pursue a project titled “Solid as a Rock? Life on a Volcano.” She will explore the ways in which volcanoes affect people living in their vicinity. In her own words:
Volcanoes are the most dramatic and visible of the geologic processes which shape the world around us. By traveling to five countries with different styles of active volcanism, my project will explore how humans living nearby view and interact with volcanoes. How do they structure their lives around a volcano that both supports their livelihood and threatens their very existence? Currently, my knowledge of volcanoes is rooted in science, but during my Watson year, I hope to broaden my understanding through the stories and perspectives of those who call the volcano home.
Her research will take her to Iceland, Chile, New Zealand, Vanuatu, and Indonesia.
Eloise is no stranger to volcano-inspired travels. Last summer she participated in a National Science Foundation-funded REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) project in the San Francisco Volcanic Field north of Flagstaff, Arizona. She presented that research at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver last fall and is continuing the work as a senior thesis advised by Bud Wobus. She also spent her 2014 Winter Study exploring volcanoes in New Mexico with Nell Davis ’15, after winning the Lauren Interess Adventure Fellowship.
Beyond the geosciences department, Eloise is a quite active in the Williams community as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a geosciences tutor, and a TA for GEOS 102. An avid rock climber, she is a board member of the college’s Outing Club and an instructor at the climbing wall.
“I am thrilled to have received a Watson Fellowship, and very lucky to have this opportunity to study something I care so much about,” Eloise said of her most recent award. “As my friends know, I love rocks, but volcanoes are simply the best.”