Robby Goldman


I am gay and queer and I am a volcanologist.//


I am a PhD candidate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, currently working on an NSF Graduate Research Internship at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, WA. I study the physics of eruptions from Hawaii’s volcanoes and how scientists communicate eruption risks to residents of the Big Island. My photo shows the lava field produced from the famous eruption of Kīlauea Volcano two years ago. Previously, in 2016, I conducted a Fulbright Fellowship in New Zealand studying the geologic history of the now-extinct Akaroa Volcano.

I am an avid science policy advocate, having participated in multiple Congressional visits sponsored by various scientific societies in support of robust federal science funding and science-based decision making. I have also recently become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ scientists, having wrestled for years with where my sexual orientation fit into my professional life. After coming out publicly on LGBT STEM Day last July (2019), I had the incredible opportunity in October of 2019 to ask Mayor Pete Buttigieg the first question at CNN’s LGBTQ+ Equality Town Hall. Since then, I have worked to create the first U.S. Chapter of Fulbright Prism, a non-profit organization that provides resources for queer Fulbright grantees and alumni.