I research volcanic and seismic processes to develop new methods and concepts to understand volcanic seismicity and its use in eruption forecasting. This includes the poorly understood and complex processes that accompany the ascent and degassing of magma. Questions include how these processes generate earthquakes and how the complex relationships between seismicity and magmatic ascent can be used
I research volcanic and seismic processes to develop new methods and concepts to understand volcanic seismicity and its use in eruption forecasting. This includes the poorly understood and complex processes that accompany the ascent and degassing of magma. Questions include how these processes generate earthquakes and how the complex relationships between seismicity and magmatic ascent can be used to forecast the likelihood, timing and explosively of eruptions.
2021 - Present USGS Peer Support Worker
2019 (Invited) Evaluator for la Convocatoria Ciencia de Frontera 2019, for the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) of Mexico
2018 - 2019 (Invited) Proposal reviewer for Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (Fondecyt) of Chile
2018 - 2019 Served on PhD Jury for Dr. Nancy Trujillo Castrillón, Department of Geophysics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
2016 - 2019 Developed and Served as Lead Editor of Special Issue in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 382, entitled Lessons learned from the recent eruptions of Sinabung and Kelud Volcanoes, Indonesia
2016 Co-developed animation jointly funded by the USGS and IRIS entitled, Volcano Seismicity at Long Dormant Stratovolcanoes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPrHy8RBj0&feature=youtu.be
2013 - 2014 Advisor for Master of Science for Novianti Indrastuti, Department of Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering at the Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia
2013 Initiated and facilitated the formalization of Latin American Volcano Association of Seismologists (LAVAS) as a stand alone international organization legalized in Manizales, Colombia, 2013.
2011 - 2017 Lead Instructor, Volcano Seismology and Eruption Forecasting Section, Center for the Study of Active Volcanism International Course, University of Hawaii, Hilo, Hawaii
2011 - 2014 Advisor and Master of Science Committee Member for John Jay Wellik II, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, MI
2011 - 2013 Advisor and PhD Juror for Dr. Corentin Caudron, Département Géosciences, Environnement et Société, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
2008 - 2017 Operational volcano seismologist, Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, USGS
2008 - 2010 Editor of Special Issue of the Journal of the Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, entitled Phenomenology, Underlying Processes, and Hazard Implications of Aseismic Slip and Non-volcanic Tremor
2007 - 2008 Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, Earthquake Hazards Program, USGS
2007 Participant at Cascadia NEHERP meeting
2002 (Summer) NSF Summer Fellow for East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students at the Earthquake Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan
1997 - 1998 Research Assistant, Siemens Corporate Research, Princeton, NJ
1995 - 1996 International Volunteer, Institute for International Cooperation and Development, La Estrella, Nicaragua
1994 Research Assistant, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Education and Certifications
2021 Foundations of Everyday Leadership, Coursera, University of Illinois
2021 Four Stages of Psychological Safety Trainer, LeaderFactor
2006 Doctor of Philosophy, University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Seattle, WA
2001 Master of Science, Duke University, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Durham, NC
2001 (Summer) YBRA Princeton-U Penn Field Camp, Red Lodge, MT
1994 Bachelor's of Science in Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Affiliations and Memberships*
Honorary Member of the Latin American Volcano Association of Seismologists (LAVAS)
Virunga Volcanoes Supersite Scientific team
USGS Eruption Forecasting Working Group
International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior
Seismological Society of America
American Geophysical Union
Honors and Awards
Dec 2019 USGS Special Thanks for Achieving Results Award (STAR award) Lead Guest Editor, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research Special Issue, 2014 eruptions of Sinabung and Kelud, Indonesia.
Oct 2018 U.S.G.S. Special Thanks for Achieving Results Award (STAR award) Group Exceptional Performance Award for 2018 Kilauea Volcano Eruption Response.
Nov 2017 U.S.G.S. Special Thanks for Achieving Results Award (STAR award) Individual Exceptional Performance Award for my pivotal role in the 2017 Agung eruption response.
Sept 2017 U.S.G.S. Special Thanks for Achieving Results Award (STAR award) Group Exceptional Performance Award for organizational efforts for the 2017 IAVCEI Meeting in Portland, OR.
Mar 2014 U.S.G.S. Special Thanks for Achieving Results Award (STAR award) Individual Exceptional Performance Award for my pivotal role in the 2013-2014 Sinabung eruption response.
Jan 2007 USGS Mendenhall Research Fellowship
Jun 2002 Natural Hazards Mitigation in Japan (NHMJ) Summer Research Experiences in Japan
Jun 2002 NSF Summer Fellow for East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students
Abstracts and Presentations
2017 Indonesia - Lead of a 4-person USGS response team that briefed the Program Specialist for USAID and Senior Officials of CVGHM responsible for analyzing and assessing monitoring parameters and the likelihood of eruption at Agung volcano that guided decisions related to evacuations and hazard zones.
2015 Nicaragua - Lead of 2-person USGS response team that briefed U.S. Ambassador Laura Dogu, the Mission Disaster Relief Officer for USAID, Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, the Embassy Economic Officer, USAID Director in Nicaragua to address concerns of Embassy and to keep the USG apprised of Momotombo eruption forecasts and technical assessments of INETER’s needs.
2015 Ecuador - Part of a 4-person USGS response team that briefed U.S. Embassy personnel regarding eruption hazards from Cotopaxi volcano in Quito to in-country staff and to keep the USG apprised of the eruption forecasts and technical assessments of IGEPN’s needs.
2013 Indonesia - Sole representative of a USGS response team that briefed U.S. Consulate staff in Medan and USAID Program Specialist to keep the USG apprised of the ongoing Sinabung eruption and changing conditions at the volcano.
2009 Columbia - Sole representative of a USGS response team that briefed USAID-OFDA’s Mission Disaster Relief Officer on renewed eruptions at Nevado del Huila volcano and the resulting hazard implications.
2009 Saudi Arabia - Part of 2-person USGS response team that briefed the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah and Senior Officials of the Saudi Geological Survey on the potential for further large damaging earthquakes or an eruption from an swarm in the volcanic region of Harrat Lunayyir.
McCausland, W.A., R. White, N. Indrastuti, H. Gunawan, C. Patria, Y. Suparman, A. Putra, H. Triatuty, M. Hendrasto, Using a process-based model of pre-eruptive seismic patterns to forecast evolving eruptive styles at Sinabung Volcano, Indonesia, CENAPRED-UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico, 4 May 2017
McCausland, W.A., Volcano Seismology, Association of Latin American Volcano Seismologists (LAVAS) 4, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 15 - 29 Jan 2016
McCausland, W.A., Earthquake Characteristics of Deep Seismicity, Association of Latin American Volcano Seismologists (LAVAS) 4, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 15 - 29 Jan 2016
McCausland, W.A., Overall Pre-Eruptive Seismic Patterns at Closed Volcanoes, Eruption forecasting based on patterns of seismicity, Eruption Forecasting Working Group Meeting, Vancouver, WA, October 26-30, 2015
McCausland, W.A., Contextualizing Syn-Eruptive Seismicity Changes and Identifying Important Changes, Instituto Geofisico y Escuela Politecnica Nacionale, Quito, Ecuador, 18 September, 2015. IG Seminar
McCausland, W.A., and R. White, Overall Pre-Eruptive Seismic Patterns at Closed Volcanoes, Eruption forecasting based on patterns of seismicity, Instituto Geofisico y Escuela Politecnica Nacionale, Quito, Ecuador, July 10, 2015. IGEPN Geophysics Department seminar
Pallister, J.S., and W. McCausland, Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) Briefing for the Asian Consortium of Volcanology (ACV), ACV Core Member Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, Feb 1, 2015
McCausland, W., J. Pallister, S. Jónsson, Z. Lu, H.M. Zahran, S. El Hadidy, A. Aburukbah, I.C.F. Stewart, P.R. Lundgren, R.A. White and M.R.H. Moufti, Stalled Eruption or Dike Intrusion at Harrat Lunayyir, Saudi Arabia? INGV Napoli, Sept 21, 2011
McCausland, W.A., Volcano Disaster Assistance Program: The intersection of science, crisis response, infrastructure building and diplomacy, Keynote Speech for Region IV Finals of the 2010 Siemens Competition in Science, Math and Technology, Pittsburgh, PA, November 20, 2010
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