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Austin White-Gaynor

Degree: Ph.D. in Geosciences
Thesis title:"Body and Surface Wave Tomography of West Antarctica and Southern Africa: Implications for Lithospheric Architecture, Tectonic Development, and Geodynamics"
Advisor: Andrew Nyblade

Austin arrived at Penn State in August 2013 after completing his B.S. is geosciences at Virginia Tech.  For his M.S. thesis, which he completed in 2015, Austin investigated seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle beneath northcentral U.S. using shear-wave splitting measurements.   Austin’s Ph.D. thesis involved seismic imaging of the upper mantle to investigate the origin of Cenozoic rifting, volcanism and plateau uplift in West Antarctic and southern Africa.  Austin completed his Ph.D. in November 2019, and is now working as a data scientist in New York.   Although not part of his Ph.D. thesis, Austin also worked on developing new ways to discriminate seismic events recorded at local distance using seismic data from South African gold mines, and he held summer internships at the Air Force Research Lab and the Los Alamos National Lab working on similar problems.  Austin participated in several field seasons on the “ice”, helping construct and operate the POLENET seismic network in West Antarctica.  In addition, he assisted with the AfricaArray summer REU program in 2018, and played lead roles in the 2013-2014 PASEIS field project and the 2018 Shale Hills seismic experiment.  In recognition of this accomplishments, Austin received the Richard Standish Good Scholarship and the Dr. Gabriel and Mrs. Katherine Leblanc Fellowship.