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 IVAR Academy - Research Institute for Volcanology and Risk Assessment Academy





The Azores archipelago is exposed to important seismic and volcanic activity, as well as to the high recurrence of extreme meteorological phenomena, that are associated with some of the major landslide and flood events, responsible for some of the major catastrophes on the region. These factors make the Azores a natural laboratory of excellence for the development of studies in the field of Earth and Space Sciences. 

Benefiting from the potential offered by its setting, the Research Institute for Volcanology and Risk Assessment (IVAR) dedicates special attention to geological hazards and to the prevention and mitigation of risks. In collaboration with civil protection and governmental authorities, it has developed work in the field of seismo-volcanic surveillance, emergency planning and land-use planning.


With the objective of promoting a Knowledge Society, the IVAR offers a set of internships in the IVAR Academy, addressed to graduates, masters and PhD, oriented to the development of competences in thematic areas related to the assessment, monitoring and mitigation of risks.

Internships programs
The IVAR Academy provides 2 types of internship, one directed to the specialization in a scientific area of IVAR, and another transversal to the different scientific areas, which pretends to give a more comprehensive vision of the investigation and monitoring activities developed in a Volcano Observatory. All the internship programs are integrated and adapted to the ongoing work in the IVAR.
To the admitted candidates in the internship programs will receive a certificate by the University of the Azores and the respective ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).
Thematic internships
The thematic internship programs (TI) will have a minimum duration of 2 weeks and a maximum duration of 2 months.
TI.1 Landslides Risk and Monitoring
This internship program is integrated on the Scientific Unit for Floods and Landslides and its main objectives are:
  • Develop capacities for susceptibility assessment on a regional scale, using statistical/probabilistic methodologies supported on Geographic Information Systems;
  • Apply deterministic methodologies for the physical analysis of slope stability;
  • Learn laboratory procedures for the execution of soil mechanic tests, based on the norms and technical specifications currently used, in order to characterize physically, mechanically and hydrologically materials;
  • Apply different monitoring techniques (geodetics, geophysical, geotechnical) used to monitor unstable terrain masses and develop capabilities for data processing and results interpretation.
TI.2 Gas Geochemistry in Active Volcanic Environments and its Implications for Public Health
This internship program is integrated on the Scientific Unit for Gas Geochemistry and its main objectives are:
  • Characterize the gas emissions in fumarolic fields and areas of diffuse degassing regarding temperature and chemical composition;
  • Map geochemical (e.g. CO2 and 222Rn) and temperature anomalies to define diffuse degassing structures, identify volcano-tectonic structures and recognize areas of risk;
  • Understand and identify factors (e.g. meteorological, environmental) that influence the emission of volcanic gases using data from permanent monitoring networks and using statistical methodologies;
  • Recognize and quantify volcanic gases (toxic and asphyxiating) in confined environments (buildings, volcanic caves, depressions, excavation zones).
TI.3 Water Geochemistry in Active Volcanic Environments
This internship program is integrated on the Scientific Unit for Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology and its main objectives are:
  • Study the hydrogeology of volcanic aquifers;
  • Study the evolution of the chemical composition of groundwater and surface waters in active volcanic environments, including pollution processes;
  • Characterize the chemical composition of the water in the unsaturated zone;
  • Dominate the techniques of water sampling and chemical analysis;
  • Develop methodologies and tools for hydrogeochemical monitoring in the context of volcanic surveillance.
TI.4 Seismology in Active Volcanic Environments
This internship program is integrated on the Scientific Unit for Neotectonics and Crustal Deformation and its main objectives are:
  • Follow the activities of seismovolcanic monitoring activities developed in the Centre for Information and Seismovolcanic Surveillance of the Azores (CIVISA) Data Acquisition Centre (CAD), enabling the contact with the different monitoring techniques (geophysical, geodetic and geochemical) used for this purpose;
  • Learn the procedures for the installation of portable seismic stations, used as a complement to the permanent seismic network in seismic crisis situations/unrest episodes;
  • Characterize the various seismogenic regions of the Azores Archipelago based on the frequency-magnitude seismic ratio, in order to map the b-values for each region;
  • Determine stress tensors for the different seismogenic regions or for specific time periods characterized by increased seismic activity.

TI.5 Physical Volcanology and Magmatism


This internship program is integrated on the Scientific Unit for Physical Volcanology and Magmatism and its main objectives are:

  • Learn laboratory procedures for the preparation of samples for chemical and petrographic analysis;
  • Apply several methods to quantify chemical and physical variables associated with processes of magma evolution and ascent;
  • Contact with laboratory methods for granulometric and morphometric characterization of pyroclastic deposits;
  • Develop capabilities to interpret processes associated with the genesis, transport and deposition of volcanic products.
TI.6 Risk Perception and Communication, Disaster Preparedness and Resilience
This internship program is integrated on the Scientific Unit for Risks and Emergency Planning and its main objectives are:
  • Observe the procedures used in the study of the perception of natural hazards;
  • Contact with the main obstacles and motivations for the adoption of precautionary practices by individuals and families in the local community;
  • Get acquainted with risk communication practices, in terms of dissemination and sharing of information before, during and after occurrences, with a special focus on understanding, trust and evaluation of sources, contents and information channels;
  • Understand conditions and social factors associated with the resilience of individuals and communities in crisis or catastrophe situations.

TI.7 Effects of volcanism on health: identification and strategies for action

This internship program is part of the Scientific Unit of Medical Geology and its main objectives are:
  • Develop capacities to assess the effects of exposure to volcanism on human health and on the ecosystems;
  • Identify biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility and define biomonitoring methodology;
  • To learn laboratory procedures, based on specific methodologies, with the use of biochemical and histological markers, in order to characterize the effects of exposure to volcanic environments;
  • Develop capacities to understand the results of biomonitoring for the diagnosis and identification of risk of occurrence of a disease that may arise as a consequence of exposure to volcanic environments.

TI.8 Atmospheric aerosol, climate, and air quality

This internship program is part of the Scientific Unit for Physical Volcanology and Magmatism and its main objectives are:
  • Extract aerosol information from Aethalometer measurements;
  • Application of loading corrections to aerosol data;
  • Application of Binary models:
    • Separation of fossil fuel and biomass burning contribution in the aerosol data.
    • Separation of iron mass contribution during aerosol dust intrusions.
  • Use simultaneous measurements to explore correlation modeling.

TI.9 Remote Sensing Applications

This internship program is part of the Scientific Unit for Physical Volcanology and Magmatism and its main objectives are:
  • Learn the fundamentals of remote sensing and its applications in volcanology and risks assessment;
  • Contact with and apply several methods to map, assess and monitor volcanic active areas using remote sensing techniques and data;
  • Develop capabilities to interpret the results obtained using remote sensing techniques and data, in order to support decision-making in crisis management.

TI.10 Study of sustained explosive volcanic activity from the analysis of long-range infrasound array data

This internship program is part of the Scientific Unit for Physical Volcanology and Magmatism and its main objectives are:
  • Study of long-range (>200km) volcano infrasound;
  • Array analysis to characterize infrasonic signals in terms of wave parameters (i.e. Back-Azimuth, Apparent Velocity) and reconstruct the pressure at the source;
  • Training of infrasound station maintenance;
  • Training of Infrasound mobile station deployment for field surveys.

Multidisciplinary Internships
The multidisciplinary internship (MI) program will have a minimum duration of 4 months and a maximum of 6 months.
MI.1 Assessment, Monitoring and Risk Mitigation: a Multidisciplinary Approach
This internship program sequentially integrates activities of several scientific units of the IVAR and aggregate some of the main objectives mentioned in each thematic internships. The work plan will be adapted for each candidate according to availability and ongoing activities in the participating scientific units.
The access to the IVAR Academy can be done in two different ways:
IVAR Academy Contact
For more information related to the IVAR Academy and/or internship programs, contact the IVAR or the Academy Coordinator ([email protected]).