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Meet Mark Behn

Mark Behn

Mark Behn
Assistant Scientist
Geology and Geophysics Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mark Behn InterviewVideo interview with
Dr. Mark Behn,
Video (4:45) watch the video


Role in the expedition?
I'm involved with putting out a network of seismometers around the lakes we're studying in Greenland. On land, we use these instruments to measure earthquakes, and we can do a very similar thing to track movement in ice, or what we call icequakes. One of the processes that we’re trying to record with the seismometers is how and where cracking occurs under these lakes, and how cracks open up and propagate through the ice.

Why I do what I do?
I became interested in geology as an undergraduate at Bates college. Most of the classes involved doing field work outdoors. One of my favorite was a course on geologic mapping of the Maine coastline by sea kayak. I realized that I could combine scientific research with my love of the outdoors. In my research at WHOI I continue to participate in field work that takes me to many exciting places such as Greenland, Hawaii, and Costa Rica (all in the next 6 months).

Where did I grow up?
Durham, North Carolina.

What were my favorite and least favorite things about school?
I enjoyed lab classes, where you actually got to see how things worked; as opposed to just listening to a teacher tell you how they were supposed to work. My least favorite subject was foreign languages. Sadly, I took 6 years of Spanish and now barely remember any.