10-29-2016 Susan Kieffer: Geologic Nozzles

About the Talk

Geologic Nozzles:  Mount St. Helens, Old Faithful Geyser, and the Rapids of the Colorado River

Dr. Susan Kieffer will describe what eruptions of Old Faithful Geyser and Mount St. Helens in 1980 have in common with rapids on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon? It’s Rocket science–literally! She will discuss how some fundamental nozzle concepts from aeronautics govern flow patterns in three geologic nozzles, which can be rapid agents of change in the geologic record.

Susan Kieffer is a geologist and planetary scientist of international renown.  She is known for her research on fluid dynamics of volcanoes, geysers, and rivers and for her model of the thermodynamic properties of complex minerals.  She has also contributed to the scientific understanding of meteorite impacts.

About the Speaker

Susan Kieffer received her B.S. in physics/ mathematics from Allegheny College in 1964 and is an alumna of Cal Tech, receiving both an M.S. (1967) in geological sciences and Ph.D. (1971) in planetary sciences. She worked with the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona (1979–1990) and was affiliated with both Arizona State University (1989–1993) and Cal Tech (1982). She went on to head the Geological Sciences Department at the University of British Columbia (1993–1995). She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a 1995 MacArthur Fellow. She was awarded the Penrose Medal by the Geological Society of America in 2014 and is currently the Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois.

Susan recently moved to Whidbey Island where she is retired, but still actively engaged in scientific writing, research and education. Her most recent book, entitled “The Dynamics of Disaster,” was published by W.W. Norton in 2014.  Dr. Kieffer hosts a popular blog called Geology in Motion.