Emeritus field geologist and petrologist. Past USGS positions: Chief of the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program,, Program Coordinator Volcano and Landslide Hazards and Geologic Mapping Programs, Research Scientist. I have scientific expertise in ophiolite geology (based mainly on my Ph.D. study of the Oman Ophiolite), in igneous petrology, and in volcano hazards science.
I joined USGS in 1980 (Field Geology and Geochemistry Branch), and worked 3 years with the Saudi Arabian USGS mission making a series of geologic quadrangle maps and studying Precambrian ophiolites, plate tectonics and Red Sea rift magmatism. I returned to the USGS volcano group in Denver in 1983 and conducted a geologic mapping and research project with Ed du Bray and others on a deeply eroded caldera in SE Arizona, a petrology and geochemistry project on Mount St. Helens with Rick Hoblitt and others, and a petrology project on Mount Pinatubo, the latter with the USGS & PHIVOLCS team. In 1996, I started a 7-year tour as a Program Manager with USGS headquarters in Reston, VA, where I led the Geologic Mapping, and then the Volcanic Hazards and Landslide Hazards programs. Following my Reston tour I moved to the Cascade Volcano Observatory in 2003. At CVO I worked on the 2004-08 Mount St. Helens eruption and served as the head of the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program. I retired in 2017, but then came back 6 months later to serve for 2 years as the leader of a new project on the next generation of volcanic hazard assessments.
I have served as an Associate Editor for the Geological Society of America Bulletin, a guest editor and reviewer for special issues of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (and other journals) and as an external advisor for several Ph.D. students.
Education and Certifications
1974, BS Geology - Emory University
1980, Ph.D. Earth Science - University of California at Santa Barbara
Honors and Awards
Distinguished Alumnus Award from UCSB Earth Sciences Department, 2006
Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Interior, 2014
VDAP team - finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, 2016
Elected to Academia Europaea, 2019
I am most proud of my humanitarian contributions to saving lives and property through the USGS & USAID/OFDA Volcano Disaster Assistance Program.
From a science perspective, I am most proud of my role in identifying magma mingling as the trigger for the massive 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines.