Most first-year graduate students start out taking advanced classes and narrowing down their research focus. Not Adonara Mucek. She spent the first term of her Ph.D. program at Oregon State working in Indonesia with her advisor, Shanaka (Shan) de Silva.

At the time, de Silva was on sabbatical and was not planning to take on another graduate student. But Adonara was a special case. Raised in Singapore, she can speak Indonesian fluently and was living near the subject of de Silva’s research: Lake Toba, the site of the most recently active super volcano on the planet. Adonara’s research and language skills made her an ideal addition to de Silva’s team.

Current research focuses on resurgence, the process by which a collapsed super volcano pushes back up again and forms a resurgent dome. Understanding resurgence is important for predicting a volcano’s future behaviors, and Adonara and her colleagues are working with the Indonesian government on educational outreach to people living near Lake Toba.

The Provost Fellowship gave Adonara the freedom to conduct field research during her first term of graduate school. “With this funding, I was able to start making connections earlier, get things done faster, and accomplish more overall in my early research,” she says. The accomplishments in her first year helped Adonara earn a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, providing three more years of funding toward her doctorate.

To learn more, visit the CEOAS Research page