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Michael Poland

Mike Poland is a research geophysicist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory and the current Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Mike's area of specialization is volcano geodesy, which emphasizes the surface deformation and gravity fields associated with volcanic activity.  This work involves the use of space-based technologies, like Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), as well as ground-based techniques, like microgravity surveys.  Mike has taken part in studies on a variety of volcanic systems in the United States, including Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest,  Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes in Hawaii, and the Yellowstone caldera.  His recent work has focused on using gravity change over time to understand the character of the fluids that drive volcanic unrest, and also on the potential of satellite data to improve forecasts of future changes in volcanic activity.

Professional Experience

  • U.S. Geological Survey - Yellowstone Volcano Observatory: Scientist-in-Charge (2017 - present)

  • U.S. Geological Survey – Cascades Volcano Observatory: Research Geophysicist (2015 - present)

  • U.S. Geological Survey – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: Research Geophysicist (2005 - 2015)

  • U.S. Geological Survey – Cascades Volcano Observatory: Research Geophysicist (2002 - 2005)

  • Department of Geology, Clark College (Vancouver, Washington): Instructor (2004)

  • Arizona State University, Department of Geological Sciences: Graduate Teaching/Research Assoc. (1997 - 2001)

Education and Certifications

  • Arizona State University: Ph.D. (2001), Geological Sciences

  • University of California, Davis: B.S. (1997), Geology

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

  • Geological Society of America (GSA)

  • International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI)

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2021

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government