Andrew Harris, assistant professor in the Hawai‘i Institute
Geophysics and Planetology, is an expert in volcanic studies. One
reviewer writes, “Andy Harris is one of two or three young
volcanologists in the world who will be leaders in the field. This
is because he understands how to use new technology from outside
volcanology while still excelling in the essentials within the
The intensity of his innovation and productivity is illustrated
by the 33 papers Harris has published since he joined the University
of Hawai‘i in 1999. His work initially focused on the analysis
of thermal data from volcanoes using satellites. Harris recently
developed a real-time thermal monitoring device for Kilauea and
Stromboli volcanoes. These provide frequent temperature measurements,
which are used to study the thermal dynamics of the volcanoes.
Another aspect of Harris’ work, in collaboration with Scott
Rowland, is the development of numerical lava flow models. These
allow the advance rate of lava to be predicted from the radiative
energy measured at the vent and available digital elevation data.
This is innovative and has great potential practical use because
it provides the capability to evaluate down-slope hazards during
the early phase on an eruption, which could allow sufficient time
to evacuate areas at risk.