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Volcanoes and Our Environment

Richard S. Fiske, our Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar, has been a research geologist at the Smithsonian since 1976. He served as director of the institute's National Museum of Natural History from 1980 to 1985. Earlier he worked with the U.S. Geological Survey, which he joined in 1963.

Co-author of Krakatau 1883: The Volcanic Eruption and Its Effects (1983), Dr. Fiske is the chief curator of the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit, Inside Active Volcanoes: Kilauea and Mount St. Helens, which is currently touring the United States.

Dr. Fiske is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He specializes in the study of volcanoes, both active and extinct. His studies of active volcanoes have taken him to the eastern Caribbean and Hawaii, where he has made geophysical measurements to understand better the underground plumbing systems of these volcanoes and the timing of future eruptions. His research on extinct volcanoes has focused on the Sierra Nevada. There he has investigated sites where huge volumes of granitic magma erupted to the surface. He is currently carrying out fieldwork in Japan to study explosive eruptions that take place in the oceans of the world.

Dr. Fiske's presentation, titled "Volcanoes and Our Environment," includes slides of breathtaking illustrations of volcanic activity. Dr. Fiske has been brought to CMC by the College's Phi Beta Kappa chapter. To join us for this event, please use The Fortnightly's reservation form.