American Academy of Arts and Sciences votes in UO's Katharine Cashman

Kathy Cashman, professor of geological sciencesEUGENE, Ore. -- (April 17, 2012) -- University of Oregon volcanologist Katharine V. Cashman, whose research has shed light on the nature and predictability of volcanic eruptions, is among 220 newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Members of the 2012 class are international leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts. Among the honorees are U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Melinda F. Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert P. Colwell, chief architect of Intel's Pentium microprocessors, and Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos. (2012 class by discipline)

Logo, American Academy of Arts & SciencesOne of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, education, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions and the humanities.

"This is a well-deserved honor for Professor Cashman," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation at the UO. "Her research at Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes around the world has added immense insights in our understanding of the mechanics that underlie volcanic eruptions and in helping to predict these events."

Cashman, the UO's Knight Professor of Geological Sciences, arrived at Mount St. Helens just months after the 1980 eruption as a member of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory. She also served on a monitoring team of the Washington state volcano before completing a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. In 1991, after five years at Princeton University, she joined the UO. She headed geological sciences in 2007-2010.

Her studies have focused on the textures in volcanic rocks, studying the size and density of holes left after the passage of gas through magma and lava, as well as crystal sizes and crystallization rates. To test her new ideas, she often returns to Mount St. Helens, which she continues to monitor. In recent years, Cashman has been intrigued by how ancient cultures in the Northwest and elsewhere in the world have viewed volcanic activity in their oral traditions and cultural histories.

Cashman, elected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2009, was born in Rhode Island. She earned a bachelor's degree in geology and biology in 1976 from Middlebury College in Vermont and a master's degree in geology in 1979 from Victoria University in New Zealand. She worked as a research scientist in 1979-1981 for the U.S. Geological Survey at Woods Hole, Mass., before joining the Cascades Volcano Observatory. She also has served on several national and international panels and committees dedicated to volcanic processes and hazards.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 6 at the headquarters of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Mass.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

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