Windward Community College professor headed to Greece to research largest volcanic eruption in human history

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Floyd McCoy, (808) 236-9115
Department of Natural Sciences
Posted: May 30, 2007

KANEʻOHE — Floyd McCoy, professor of geology and oceanography at Windward Community College, will travel to Greece in June to research the largest volcanic eruption in human history in the Mediterranean region as one of only a few selected Fulbright scholar grantees.

"I am so honored to have this opportunity," said McCoy.

From June 2007 to July 2008, McCoy will be involved in fieldwork to study the effects of the enormous Late Bronze Age eruption of Thera (Santorini) in Greece. McCoy will attempt to merge the fields of archaeology and geology into a new discipline — geoarchaeology — to find out what destroyed a Cycladic culture and led to the demise of the Minoan culture on Crete.

McCoy has studied the geological evidence for this eruption and its impacts over the last 20 years with the assistance of small groups of interested scientists and non-scientists, and his work has been featured in numerous programs on NBC, BBC, the National Geographic, Learning and Discovery Channels.

As a Fulbright scholar grantee, McCoy will also be negotiating deep-water archaeology, mapping the ocean floor in search of ships and looking for evidence of ancient trade routes between Greece and Egypt. His role as a geologist will include developing new remote techniques for recording information in waters as deep as 12,000 feet.

In addition to research, McCoy will teach as visiting research professor from September 2007 to May 2008 at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, mentoring students, and teaching graduate seminars in natural hazards and geology.

Representing the United States, McCoy will be helping to increase mutual understanding between people of both countries, the principle purpose of the Fulbright Program. The Fulbright grant is made possible through funding from the U.S. Congress, the country of Greece, and from the private sector.