Sheridan Honored For Research On Mexican Volcano

By Mara McGinnis

Release Date: April 28, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Michael F. Sheridan, professor and chair of the Department of Geology at the University at Buffalo, has been honored for his outstanding scientific work on the activity of the Volcan Colima, historically the most active volcano in Mexico.

He received the award recently at the 6th International Reunion of Volcan Colima sponsored by the University of Colima and the state of Colima. The biennial meeting draws 300-500 volcanologists from around the world.

The most dangerous volcano in Mexico, Colima has erupted violently several times during the past 450 years. About 4,000 years ago, it produced a cataclysmic avalanche much larger than that of Mount St. Helens.

Sheridan has made a career out of mapping the predicted direction of flows from volcanic eruptions before they occur, based on extensive fieldwork and knowledge of the historic patterns of a particular volcano.

Most recently, he has developed three-dimensional computer simulations that predict how far and how fast those dangerous flows will travel, helping public safety officials to determine ahead of time which areas to evacuate.

Chair and professor of geology at UB since 1990, Sheridan previously was professor of geology at Arizona State University. A former Fulbright scholar, he is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Mineralogical Society of America.

He has held positions as visiting scientist and visiting professor at a number of Italian universities.

The author of four books and more than 110 articles in refereed journals, he has been involved in numerous research projects funded by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

Sheridan holds a bachelor's degree from Amherst College and master's and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

He is a resident of Elma.