Clayton is the recipient of the 2021 Geological Society of America, Bruce L. “Biff” Reed Scholarship Award. The award is given to only one Masters of Science or Ph.D. student pursuing studies in the tectonic and magmatic evolution of Alaska per year. Clayton is a Geology-MS candidate. He is using olivine melt inclusions and mineral chemistry to determine the source and timescales of monogenetic magmatism of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.
“I have always had a deep curiosity about what makes our planet the way it is.”
Clayton added, “Studying volcanoes allows us to have a peek into the inner workings of our planet and what makes it so dynamic. The information we learn from these kinds of studies allows us to better understand the pre-eruptive conditions of volcanic systems and gives us a glimpse into what’s happening deep beneath our feet.”
Clayton just returned from the NMSU Johnson Mass Spectrometer Lab with his research advisor, Dr. Gary Michelfelder. Clayton shared, “the lab work itself and all the analytical equipment was interesting, but learning about the significance of why we do it was even more fascinating to me. The purpose of the visit was to analyze radiogenic isotopic compositions in our rock samples. The analysis gives us valuable information that helps unravel the pre-eruptive magma chamber processes leading to an eruption.”