Nominees for 2013 VIWG Secretary

Person elected Secretary in 2013 will automatically become Vice Chair in 2014 and Chair in 2015
NOTE: as per the VIWG Charter, the person selected for 2013 should be a field-oriented glaciovolcanologist. Elections in 2014 will focus on a planetary scientist, and in 2015 on a glaciologist/geophysicist.

We have three nominees presently standing for the position of Secretary for the Volcano-Ice Interactions Working Group: Christopher Hamilton, Dave McGarvie, Thomas Pierson, and Ian Skilling. Information on the candidates is posted below. The duties of Secretary include communicating information about commission activities with the membership. We request that you cast your vote for one of the candidates below by sending an e-mail to both Hugh Tuffen ( and Lucia Capra ( Votes will be tallied on in late January and the winner announced shortly thereafter. Thanks for your continued support of the VIIC.

Dr. Christopher Hamilton, NASA, USA
Christopher Hamilton

Dr. Christopher Hamilton works at NASA-Goddard in Maryland, USA.


Volcanism has an important role in the development of planetary interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres and I am particularly interested in how contrasting environmental conditions affect volcanic processes. Specifically, my research focuses on how magma and lava interact with water and ice to generate a wide range of eruption styles. These processes are important because they provide information about eruption dynamics, geologic hazards, and paleoenvironments on the Earth and other planetary bodies.

Working within the Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, I study terrestrial analogs to planetary volcanism, with an emphasis on explosive lava-water interactions, lava flow emplacement and morphology, subglacial volcanism, pheatomagmatic and phreatic eruptions, volcanic floods (e.g., lahars and jökulhaups), and hydrothermal systems. My research involves a strong field-based component focusing on the geology of Iceland and Hawaii as well as volcanic terrains in New Mexico, New Zealand, and the Canadian Arctic.

As Secretary of the IAVCEI Working Group on Volcano-Ice Interactions (VII), I would help to coordinate conference sessions and field-workshops, with the aim of developing stronger collaborations between members of international community. For instance, I would organize a VII Commission meeting during the 2013 IAVCEI conference in Kagoshima, Japan, as well as a VII-4 meeting and field-workshop by 2015. Additionally, I would help the VII Working Group to develop new outreach activities through media platforms such as YouTube to communicate the dynamic nature of volcano-ice interactions and highlight the exciting research being conducted in this field.


(Back to the Top)

Dr. Dave McGarvie, Open University, UK
Dave McGarvie

Dr. Dave McGarvie, Senior Lecturer in Volcanology, the Open Univeristy,UK.


I am a field geologist with an interest in rhyolite to andesite volcano-ice interactions, though I have occasionally strayed to the dark side (i.e. basalts). I have successfully combined fieldwork with extensive collaboration to expand the applications of volcano-ice interactions. Examples include: undertaking the first Ar-Ar dating of Pleistocene Icelandic rhyolites and using these to comment on ice sheet development; re-investigating the formation of cooling fractures in lavas (e.g. columnar joints) to test their suitability as environmental indicators; and exploring what happens to volatiles during explosive subglacial rhyolite eruptions.

I work mostly in Iceland and have initiated field investigations which have involved a high degree of exploration and discovery into unknown or poorly-studied volcanoes. I have also worked in Chile and have just started a project on a long-lived Chilean volcano to probe longer term volcano-ice interactions in the Andes.

I have a been a staunch and committed supporter of volcano-ice interactions for over a decade, and I aim to develop this field's wider relevance and applicability. Becoming Secretary of this Commission would dovetail with this aim.

Contributions to education include helping to organise the 2009 summer school on volcano-ice interactions (Iceland), and participating in field and lecture instruction on the 2012 International Volcanological Field Camp to Katmai (Alaska). I have given talks at all three International Volcano-Ice conferences supported by this Commission (and its predecessor). And I organise a popular annual volcano-ice workshop at Lancaster (UK) which enables relaxed and productive discussion of volcano-ice topics. Disseminating science to a wider audience is important, and so I blog and tweet on volcano-ice interactions and other topics. I also provided expert media comment during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull and 2011 Grímsvötn eruptions.


(Back to the Top)

Dr. Thomas Pierson, USGS, USA
Thomas Pierson

Dr. Thomas Pierson works at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington.


My field-based research is largely focused on volcano-hydrologic hazards involving the mobilization and rapid movement of rock debris, ice, and water down the flanks of volcanoes—debris avalanches, lahars and muddy floods. Volcano-ice interactions commonly play an important role in triggering these hazards. I am interested in the magnitude, frequency, initiation mechanisms, timing, and flow behavior of the sediment-water flows themselves, as well as in refining the sedimentologic interpretation of the volcaniclastic deposits left by these flows, in order to better understand the potential for future hazards in particular areas.

I am currently a research hydrologist (and former Associate Scientist-in-Charge) at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory and Adjunct Professor of Geology at Portland State University. Following MS and PhD degrees in geology at the University of Washington and post-doctoral work in New Zealand on debris flows and steepland hydrology, I joined the USGS at CVO in 1981 to study lahars triggered by eruption-induced rapid snowmelt by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Subsequently I have studied the generation of lahars and floods at other ice-capped volcanoes in the Cascades, and in Alaska, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Although awareness of hazards from volcano-ice interactions is fairly high among volcano scientists, it is less so among emergency managers and populations at risk. If elected to the Commission, I would work to (a) encourage more effective communication of our scientific understanding of these processes to non-scientist users, and (b) to encourage more development of practical modeling tools for hazards and risk assessment downstream of ice-clad volcanoes.


(Back to the Top)

Dr. Ian Skilling, Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Ian Skilling

Dr. Ian Skilling works at the University of Glamorgan, Wales, UK.


Dr Ian Skilling received his PhD from the University of Lancaster in 1988, where he studied the physical volcanology of Suswa volcano in the Kenyan Rift Valley. He subsequently worked for 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge (UK), under the guidance of Professor John Smellie, where he studied a variety of volcano-ice interaction processes at products in the Antarctic Peninsula. His 1994 paper on Brown Bluff (Antarctica) was one of the first detailed lithofacies-based studies of a basaltic volcano that grew through an ice sheet. From 1998 to 2002 he was co-leader of the IAVCEi Commission on Volcanogenic Sediments with Dr James White (University of Otago). He has subsequently published many papers on aspects of glaciovolcanism, including the following first author papers: a detailed study of lava-fed deltas (Skilling, 2002), a study of the evolution of the well-known tuya volcano, Hlodufell in SW Iceland (Skilling, 2009) and a frequently cited review of magma-sediment mingling (peperite, Skilling et al., 2002). He received two large NSF awards for glaciovolcanic studies at Mt Edziza in British Columbia, with Ben Edwards (Dickinson Colege, USA) and Askja (Iceland) with Dave McGarvie and Armann Hoskuldsson. Graettinger et al (2012) was the first study to report the occurrence of coherent-margined volcaniclastic dikes (CMVDs), which were interpreted as dikes emplaced into ice-cemented sediments.

Ian was one of the initiators and organizers of the first volcano-ice interaction conference (VII1) in Reykjavik in 2000 and was on the organizing committee of VII2 in Vancouver in 2007. He has also been involved in many other aspects of service to the glaciovolcanological community, including: co-editor of the Special Issue of JVGR on glaciovolcanism in 2009, presented a short course on glaciovolcanism during a CEV workshop at the IAVCEI meeting in Iceland in 2008, and led a field-trip to Hlodufell during a Nordic Volcanological Institute workshop. His research interests span all aspects of the interaction of magma with ice, water and wet sediment.


(Back to the Top)

Page updated 11 January 2013

bottom corner