Dickinson Students Bring Russian Volcanoes to an International Audience


Edwards taking lava temperatures at Tolbachik

Since November 2012, the Plossky Tolbachik volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula has been erupting. But almost all the scientific information about the eruption is in Russian, leaving non-Russian speaking volcanologists and seismologists in the dark about recent developments in Russia’s far east. Professor Ben Edwards of Dickinson’s Earth Sciences Department took a trip to the eruption site in January 2013, where he measured temperatures at the lava flow and studied the lava-snow interaction. After his return, three advanced Russian language students joined the project by translating updates about the eruption from Russian into English. Their translations were completed as part of their senior seminar, “Workshop in Translation,” where they have been trying their hands at translation of texts in a variety of styles, from poetry to journalism.

The students’ translations can be found on the official website of the Kliuchi Vulcanology Observatory:

Next week, the students in the seminar will be working with renowned Russian poet Vera Pavlova and her translator, Steven Seymour, for a special workshop on challenges in translating poetry from Russia to English.


Alex North (L), Maria Smirnova (C) and Caitlin Moriarty (R)


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