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

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 a part 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.

Publications and Code

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.

Graduate Students

Interested in doing innovative graduate research in infrasound and seismology at UAF? I often 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. A couple nice videos on life in Fairbanks are here and here.

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

Current students and postdocs

Alex Witsil, Postdoc

Jordan Bishop, Ph.D. student

Julia Gestrich, Ph.D. student

Liam Toney, Ph.D. student

Darren Tan, Ph.D. student

Former students and postdocs

Alexandra Iezzi, Ph.D. student, 2015-2020 (now at UC Santa Barbara)

Kathleen McKee, Ph.D., 2013-2017 (now at Carnegie Institute)

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

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

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

Contact Information

David Fee

Wilson Alaska Technical CenterAlaska Volcano ObservatoryGeophysical Institute-UAF2156 S Koyukuk Drive Fairbanks, AK 99775

email: dfee1@alaska.edu