A long and surprising history of volcanoes of Bikol: A Public Presentation by Dr. Chris Newhall

January 11, 2018

 

THE Institute of Bikol History and Culture headed by Tito Genova Valiente and the Ateneo de Naga University Press cordially invite everyone to the 2nd Fr. Frank Lynch SJ Lecture Series on January 15, 2PM at the Richie Fernando Hall, Ateneo de Naga University. The guest lecturer is Dr. Chris Newhall.
 
A Brief Note About the Presentation

 Most of us think of history as extending back to the times of our grandfathers, or maybe for really ancient history, back to the time of Christ. Geologists study a much longer history, all the way back to the origin of the Earth, about 4.6 billion years ago. Here in Bikol, geologic history extends back at least to 100-200 million years ago, and the volcanoes that surround us have been active for several million years already!  Some, like Mt. Isarog, Mt. Iriga (Asog), Mayon, and Bulusan, are relatively young and active. 10,000 or even 100,000 years in the life of a volcano is like 1 year in a human life.

Of course, volcanoes aren’t really alive in the sense of having brains, reproducing, etc. But they do exhibit life cycles from birth to eventual extinction, with a lot in between. We’ll examine the life histories of the four Bicol volcanoes mentioned above, including giant landslides from Isarog and Iriga, and also the concept that the state of magma (molten vs. solidified) in the top few kilometers of volcano plumbing controls the eruptive behavior of volcanoes.

Come prepared with your questions about volcanoes and other geological features of Bikol!

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 Chris Newhall is volcanologist whose studies include historical and modern eruption precursors, and reconstruction of eruptive behavior from stratigraphic, petrologic, and historical data.   He has been privileged to work on many volcanoes of the world, in the US, Guatemala, the Philippines, Indonesia, Ecuador, DR Congo, and Japan, and to visit many more.

His undergraduate study was at Univ of California, Davis, with a year at Univ of Canterbury; his postgraduate studies were at UC Davis and Dartmouth (PhD 1980). Most of his career was with the US Geological Survey, but also included work as an affiliate professor at the Univ. of Washington and as professor and volcano group leader at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University.

He is now semi-retired in Salvacion, Sto. Domingo, Albay, overlooking Mayon Volcano, and continues research and teaching part-time. He and his wife Glenda are developing the Mirisbiris Garden and Nature Center in Salvacion.

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The Fr. Frank Lynch, SJ Lecture Series is a tribute to the zeal and pioneering spirit of this Jesuit anthropologist whose works placed on the academic map the small town of Canaman and, for that matter, the entire Bikol region. The Series aims to present lectures, forums and conversations engaging practitioners of the social sciences. The series further aims to underscore that however the themes, theories and approaches may have changed, the passion and rigor for generating the total social facts and their use for advocacies and in societies remain at the core of the Ateneo de Naga University.

 The Second in the Series is headed by the Institute of Bikol History and Culture working in cooperation with the Ateneo de Naga University Press.

Fr. Frank Lynch, SJ (Francis X. Lynch) was a pioneer

in Philippine social science. In the late 40s and 50s he was assigned to Naga. It is said that while in Naga Fr. Lynch became interested in the outlying towns. and selected Canaman for his fieldwork. From the town, Fr. Lynch developed concepts that he used for his graduate studies in Socilogy nd Anthropology. These are concepts on social stratification like “saaradit na tawo” and “darakulang tawo,” constructs that have become classic in the studies of social class and socioeconomic development. His extensive works covered the topics and themes on values, language. field research and approaches, agrarian problems and religion. Fr. Lynch became a naturalized Filipino. By the time of his death, he was consultant to the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), which he founded and Director of the Social Survey Research Unit (SSRU) in Ateneo de Naga.



 

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