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Patrick Muffler, Ph.D.

I am a volunteer Scientist Emeritus with the California Volcano Observatory, a unit of the USGS Volcano Science Center. My two decades of emeritus research has focused on the volcanic geology of northeastern California, in particular Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Cascades Volcanic Arc extending north towards Mount Shasta and Medicine Lake volcano.  

Prior to formal retirement from the USGS in 2001, most of my scientific research was on hot springs and geothermal energy, including studies of volcanic geology and geothermal phenomena in the Lassen region of northeastern California, the geologic mapping of the southernmost Cascade Range of the western United States, studies of active hydrothermal metamorphism in the Salton Sea geothermal system in southern California, research drilling and mapping of geyser basins in Yellowstone National Park, investigation of the Larderello geothermal region of Italy, and studies of geothermal areas in the Taupo volcanic belt of New Zealand.  Much of my scientific contribution involved estimation of geothermal resources, including developing a uniform methodology subsequently applied world-wide. I participated in the 1976 geothermal resource assessment of central and southern Tuscany in Italy, and I led the 1968 geothermal resource assessment of the United States. 

I also served in various USGS managerial roles, including Coordinator of the USGS Geothermal Research Program (1971–1976 and 1983–1987), Coordinator of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program (1983–1987), Chief, Branch of Igneous and Geothermal Processes, 1982–1987 and Western Regional Geologist (1997–2000; a position in the Senior Executive Service responsible for all Geologic Division activities west of the Rocky Mountains). 

*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