Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Geophysics

Pioneer Volcanologist Passed Away

Monday, April 1, 2019

EPS alumnus, Alexander McBirney (Mac), 1961 PhD, passed away April 7, 2019. Mac was a pioneer in physical volcanology, making seminal contributions to understanding layered intrusions, magma rheology, and hot spot volcanism. Mac was a West Point graduate. From there he took his young family to Nicaragua where he created a coffee plantation in the jungle. It was here that he met Prof. Howell Williams who persuaded him to come to Berkeley for his PhD studies. A few years after graduating he moved to the University of Oregon to serve as the first director of the Center for Volcanology.  He was the founding editor of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. His scholarship was recognized with the AGU Bowen award in 1990.