David Fee

Research  Professor

Geophysical Institute

University of Alaska Fairbanks


About Me

I am a Research Professor at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. My primary research interests are: 

-Volcano Infrasound and Seismology

-Infrasound Propagation

-Infrasound Signal Detection and Classification

My research at UAF is focused on using infrasound (low frequency sound) and seismic data to characterize and understand volcanic eruptions and other types of explosions. This work enables a better understanding of volcanic eruptions, as well as contributes to hazard mitigation. Volcano infrasound provides a unique way to monitor volcanoes and understand volcanic processes, particularly in remote and difficult to monitor regions. An important aspect of my research has been to integrate infrasound records with other geophysical techniques (e.g. seismic, satellite, thermal) to better understand eruption processes. Further, volcanic eruptions can be used to study the propagation of infrasound at a variety of source-receiver distances, which ultimately leads to a better characterization of the atmosphere. 

I also conduct research in nuclear treaty monitoring, including infrasound signal detection, source characterization, propagation, and sensor and station performance. This work is part of the Wilson Alaska Technical Center (WATC).


Ph.D. Geophysics, 2010, University of Hawaii at Manoa

M.S. Geophysics, 2004, University of Wyoming

B.A. Geology/Physics, 2002, Whitman College

Graduate Students

Interested in doing innovative graduate research in infrasound and seismology at UAF? I am currently looking for multiple graduate students to start in Fall 2023. Projects will likely focus on applying machine learning techniques to infrasound data from explosions. Typically I have opportunities for students to work as part of AVO, at volcanoes around the world, and in nuclear treaty monitoring. Please send me an email (dfee1 at alaska.edu) if you are interested or would like some more information on current and future projects. To learn more about geophysics at UAF, check out the following video overview here. A couple nice videos on life in Fairbanks are here and here as well.

Below is a list of current and former graduate students and postdocs who have worked with me:

Current students and postdocs

Darren Tan, Ph.D. student

Logan Scamfer, M.S. student

Stefan Awender, Postdoc

Former students and postdocs

Liam Toney, Ph.D. , 2018-2023, (now a Mendenhall postdoc at the U.S. Geological Survey)

Jordan Bishop, Ph.D., 2017-2022, (now at Los Alamos National Lab)

Julia Gestrich, Ph.D., 2017-2022, (now at LMU Munich)

Alex Witsil, Postdoc, 2020-2021 (now at ARA)

Alexandra Iezzi, Ph.D. student, 2015-2020 (now at U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory)

Kathleen McKee, Ph.D., 2013-2017 (now at NASA Goddard)

Keehoon Kim, Postdoc, 2014-2015 (now at Lawrence Livermore National Lab)

Sarah Albert, M.S., 2013-2015 (now at Sandia National Lab)

Colin Rowell, M.S., 2011-2013 (now Ph.D. student at University of British Columbia)

Publications, Code, and New Releases

For a list of my publications please see my Google Scholar page. My github page is here, and our group's github page is here.  On these pages you'll find a variety of codes for seismic and infrasound data processing and modeling. Our group emphasizes publishing open source code for the seismo-acoustic community.

Below are links to a few recent press releases related to our group's research:

Hunga volcano eruption provides an explosion of data

New method can improve explosion detection

Fireball in the sky over Alaska

Group Affiliations

My work on volcanoes is primarily conducted through my role in the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), where I also serve as the AVO Coordinating Scientist. AVO uses federal, state and university resources to monitor and study Alaska's hazardous volcanoes, forecast and record eruptive activity, and mitigate volcanic hazards to life and property. More information on how we use infrasound at AVO can be found here.

I'm also the director of the Wilson Alaska Technical Center (WATC), which focuses on nuclear treaty monitoring. We operate and maintain multiple infrasound and seismic stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO). These arrays are located in Alaska, Washington, Wake Island, Midway Island, Diego Garcia, and Antarctica. WATC studies infrasonic signals from explosions, large earthquakes, and many other sources.  WATC also plays a central role in the recently formed GDNP UARC

At UAF I am also a member of the GI Volcanology and Seismology groups as well as an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Geosciences

Contact Information

David Fee

Wilson Alaska Technical CenterAlaska Volcano ObservatoryGeophysical InstituteUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks2156 Koyukuk Drive Fairbanks, AK 99775

email: dfee1@alaska.edu