Ken Wohletz Professional Experience:

Positions, Field Experience, Laboratory Experience, Graduate Students, References

PI: Nuclear Testing Limitations (2004-Present): Los Alamos National Laboratory-NNSA/NA-241 program.

Science Council (2004-2007): Chief Scientist Office, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Science and Engineering Advisory Council (2002-2004): Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Guest Scientist (2000-2004): Vesuvius volcano observatory, Ministry of Civil Defense, Naples, Italy.

Board of Directors (1998-2000): DOSECC (Drilling, Observation and Sampling of the Earths Continental Crust), Salt Lake City, leadership and technical support of subsurface sampling and monitoring technology for addressing topics of scientific and societal importance.

Adjunct Professor (1991-2007): University of New Mexico, physics of magmatic systems, summer volcanology program.

Visiting Professor (1993-2000): Universita di Napoli "Federico II", Dipartimento di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Largo S. Marcellino 10 ,80138 Napoli; volcanic hazards and physics of magmatic systems.

Instructor (1982-83): University of New Mexico, Los Alamos Branch, 1333 40th Street, Los Alamos, NM 87544; physical and historical geology.

Technical Staff Member (1983-Present): Yucca Mountain Project, numerical simulation in earth sciences, geophysical shock wave experimentation, geothermal resource exploration and development, Threshold Test Ban Treaty designated inspector, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, nuclear testing limitations, volcanic hazards.

Director's Postdoctoral Fellow (1981-83): Earth and Space Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545; geologic mapping, volcanic ash analysis, and experimental modeling of explosive volcanism.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (1980-81): Arizona State University, Geology Department, Tempe, AZ 85287; geologic mapping, SEM of volcanic ash, and analysis of Martian rampart craters.

Visiting Scientist (1980): Italian National Research Council, University of Pisa, Italy: volcanic hazard evaluation and lecturing.

Visiting Staff Member (1975-78): Los Alamos National Laboratory; geologic mapping, computer code analysis, experimental scale modeling, geologic and geophysical evaluation of volcanic hazards, core logging, and petrography.

Visiting Graduate Fellow (1976): Lunar Science Institute, Houston, TX; Planetary impact cratering mechanics.

Field Experience:

U.S.A.: Structural relationships - White-Inyo Range, CA; Volcanism - Long Valley caldera, CA; Ubehebe Crater, CA; Clear Lake volcanic field, CA; Quaternary volcanism - Hawaii; Geothermal resource assessment - Castle Hot Springs, AZ; Volcanism - Superstition Volcanic Field, Peridot Mesa, and San Francisco Peaks, AZ; Volcanism - Jemez Mts., Kilbourne Hole, Zuni Salt Lake, and Tejana Mesa, NM; Ukinrek volcano, AL; Nevada Test Site, NV

West Indies: Volcano geophysics - La Soufrière de Guadeloupe; Geothermal resource assessment - St. Lucia.

Italy: Volcanic hazard assessment - Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei, Lipari, and Vulcano

Germany: Eifel

Mexico: Geothermal resource assessment - Sierra de La Primavera, Jalisco; Pinacate volcanic field - Sonora.

Central America: Geothermal resource assessment - Copán and Choluteca, Honduras; Geothermal resource assessment - Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio, and Miravalles volcanoes, Costa Rica; Geothermal resource assessment - Tecuamburro volcano, Guatemala.

South America: Volcanic hazards and geothermal energy, Colombia, Ecuador

Indonesia: Geothermal resource assessment, Philippines

Russia: OSI

Mideast: OSI


Laboratory Experience:

  1. Geologic sample analysis by optical and electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction
  2. Computer code development, analysis, and modeling with desktop and HPC systems
  3. Dynamic testing of materials using explosive driven shock wave techniques; similitude and centrifuge experiments
  4. Hazardous waste (OSHA 20 CFR 1910.120) training.

Graduate Students (partial listing):

Marty Horn (MS 1986) Numerical simulations of pyroclastic eruptions, University of Texas, Arlington

Greg Valentine (PhD 1988) Field and theoretical aspects of explosive volcanic transport processes, University of California, Santa Barbara

Meghan Morrissey (MS 1990) Application of results from Fe-Al melt-water explosions experiments to hydrovolcanic eruptions, University of Texas, Arlington

Dana Bahar (MS 1991) Pyroclastic surge deposits of Kilbourne Hole, New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

Eduardo Malavassi (PhD) Volcanism and Tectonics of Costa Rica, University of California, Santa Cruz

Mark Servilla (PhD 1996) Characterization of the ~760 ka eruption of the Bishop Tuff based on geochemical trends and numerical modeling, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Matt Walters (MS 1996) Fracture Analysis of the Bandelier Tuff, Pajarito Plateau, North-Central Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico; Texas Christian University

Ines Caffier (MS 1999) Investigation of the fragmentation of magmatic melt by expanding gas, University of Wurzburg, Germany

Magdalena Sandoval (MS 2007) University of New Mexico

Darcy Ogden (PhD 2008) Advance numerical simulation of volcanic eruptions, University of California, Santa Cruz

Cathy Plesko (PhD 2008) Numerical simulation of impact cratering dynamics, University of California, Santa Cruz


Outreach and Service

Designated Inspector Threshold Test-Ban Treaty

US delegate for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty negotiations

National Academy of Science Panel on Explosive Volcanism

News releases and interviews, LA Times, NY Times, Science Digest, et al.

BBC Channel 4 TV program, Catastrophe

PBS TV program, Secrets of the Dead

BBC Today TV program, Volcano Related Climate Changes

BBC Radio, Climates of Change

BBC Horizons TV program, Supervolcanoes

PAX-TV network program, Encounters with the Unexplained

The History Channel, Mega Disasters, Krakatoa’s Revenge

Author of education and research software registered to over 10,000 users:




Prof. Susan W. Kieffer: Department of Geology MC 102, 245 Natural History, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801

Prof. Michael F. Sheridan: Department of Geology, 415 Fronczak Hall, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260.

Prof. Alexandra Navrotsky: Thermochemistry Facility, Chemistry Annex , Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616-8779

Dr. Grant Heiken: 331 Windantide Place, Freeland, WA  98249-9683

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