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Drew T. Downs

I am a research geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and my main areas of research revolve around constructing geologic maps and unraveling the eruptive histories of volcanoes. To do this, I use a multidisciplinary approach using field studies, physical volcanology, geochronology, geochemistry, petrology, remote sensing, and many more techniques.

I have worked on volcanoes and volcanic fields in a variety of settings, including subduction-related arc volcanoes within New Zealand and the southern Cascades of California, the monogenetic volcanic field of of Harrat Rahat in Saudi Arabia, and unraveling the eruptive history and processes of volcanic rocks of the Hawaiian Islands.

Throughout my research career I have participated in studies on explosive and effusive volcanism ranging from high-silica rhyolites and trachytes to basaltic lava flows. Unraveling the eruptive history preserved at the surface to understanding deeper volcanic processes has led me to use a wide variety of techniques, such as field studies, physical volcanology, geochronology, geochemistry, petrology, paleomagnetism, remote sensing, and other novel methods that help to understand volcanic processes and further understanding of their hazards.

Education and Certifications

  • 2014 - Ph.D., Geology, University of Auckland (New Zealand)

  • 2009 - MSc, Southern Illinois University

  • 2007 - BSc, Southern Illinois University

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