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Affiliation: 
New York University
Title: 
Associate Professor
Department: 
Department of Biology
Expertise: 
global carbon cycle, biospere science, renewable energy

Biography

Eventually came college. At the University of Michigan he headed first into physics, but a concern for helping society led him into architecture, a discipline wherein along with his math skills he sought to apply powers of visualization, as well as flex an interest in social psychology. For many years after graduating Volk was a private builder, and during that time had his first published technical note on a "solar heated bath," which he had designed, tested, and constructed. After more hands-dirty work and part time teaching positions in everything from middle school science and math, to the School of Visual Arts and adult education, Volk decided to enter graduate school to learn the quantitative details of sustainable energy systems. There in grad school he became entranced with the concept of the Earth as a solar collector and the fact that the same thermodynamic and energy equations used for energy technologies were employed for studying climate and other enigmas about our planet, which was (and is) in dire need of our understanding. But somewhere in himself also bubbled up that love for the living world, which encompassed the trees of Pine Woods Park bound into an integrated system with humanity. We are subjecting ourselves and all else to our own wastes products in the closed bottle of the biosphere, causing carbon dioxide, as one infamous example, to rise year by year. Concerned, Volk sought to incorporate biology into studying the future of this greenhouse gas. For his Ph.D research, he studied the role of life in distributing carbon and other elements at various depths in the world ocean. Continuing on with employment at NYU, for many years he have endeavored to understand various aspects of life on a global scale, past, present, and future. Work for NASA took Volk into the realm of future space projects, where he built math models for the cycling of elements in what are called "closed ecological life support systems." His passion now is to look into the cycling efficiencies of various ecosystems. Volk continues with the work in metapatterns, with interests in neurobiology, consciousness, and all expressions of human patterns, whether found in art, religion, or science.