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Volcanoes and Man

Volcanoes are part of the natural environment; for this reason interactions between humans and volcanoes are inevitable. Developing a sustainable strategy for volcanic risk mitigation is thus necessary for communities inhabiting volcanically active areas. Defining strategies as successful requires a perspective that includes not only modern studies of both successes and failures in handling volcanic crises, but also evaluation of past cultures through integration of volcanological studies with archaeological investigations, which provide physical evidence for site abandonment, migrations and cultural change, anthropological studies of societal responses to past and recent volcanic eruptions, and oral traditions, which encode important geologic observations and place disastrous events within the context of cultural beliefs. Together, integration of modern strategies of volcano monitoring and prediction with lessons learned from past events can help us to design an approach to volcanic hazard mitigation that includes the needs of local communities as well as improved resilience of distal communities to disruption posed by far-reaching hazards, such as volcanic ash clouds.


Kathy Cashman (Bristol University)


Katharine Cashman is a volcanologist who studies links between chemical and physical factors that control magma ascent, eruption, and emplacement on the Earth’s surface. She received her doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University in 1986 and accepted a faculty position at Princeton University, where she stayed for 5 years. In 1991 she moved to the University of Oregon, where she holds the position of Philip H. Knight Distinguished Professor of Natural Sciences in the Department of Geological Sciences. In 2011, she took a leave from the University of Oregon to move to the University of Bristol, where she holds the position of AXA Research Professor. She has studied volcanoes on six of the seven continents (and has visited volcanoes on the seventh!), has explored a wide range of eruption styles (including active submarine volcanism), and has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the ongoing Soufriere Hills eruption on the island of Montserrat. She is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been awarded the Bowen Award from the Volcanology, Geochemistry and Petrology section of the AGU as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Middlebury College, VT.



Event Details

Date: 26 September 2012
Venue: The Geological Society, London
Speaker: Kathy Cashman



Naomi Newbold
Tel: 020 7432 0981