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Snelson, Viswanathan and Wohletz named Geological Society of America Fellows

The Geological Society of America has chosen Catherine Snelson, Kenneth Wohletz and Hari Viswanathan as Fellows.
August 31, 2017
Left to right, Hari Viswanathan, Catherine Snelson and Kenneth Wohletz

Left to right, Hari Viswanathan, Catherine Snelson and Kenneth Wohletz

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GSA members are selected for their distinguished contributions to the geosciences through publications, applied research, teaching, administration of geological programs, contributing to the public awareness of geology, leadership of professional organizations and taking on editorial, bibliographic and library responsibilities.

The Geological Society of America (GSA) has chosen Laboratory employees Catherine Snelson and Kenneth Wohletz of the Geophysics group, and Hari Viswanathan of Computational Earth Sciences as Fellows. GSA members are nominated by existing GSA Fellows in recognition of their distinguished contributions to the geosciences through publications, applied research, teaching, administration of geological programs, contributing to the public awareness of geology, leadership of professional organizations and taking on editorial, bibliographic and library responsibilities.

Snelson’s achievements

The GSA cited Snelson: “For distinguished technical and administrative contributions to the Source Physics Experiment, advancing geoscience critical to our national security.”

Snelson earned a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from the University of Texas – El Paso. She joining the Laboratory in 2014 and currently is the Deputy Group Leader of the Geophysics group. Snelson uses applied geophysics at the Lab to conduct research on national security-related problems. She also designs integrated experiments with multiple diagnostics. Snelson serves as the project manager for the Source Physics Experiment (SPE) and the Source Venture laboratory lead for the Low-Yield Nuclear Monitoring Program. During her career at the Laboratory, Snelson has received Los Alamos Award Program (LAAP) recognition for management of the Source Physics Experiment. She previously received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her contributions to the characterization of the geologic structure of the Las Vegas, Nevada basin.

Viswanathan’s achievements

The GSA cited Viswanathan: “For his stellar contributions to earth sciences over the past 20 years, his outstanding publication record on theoretical and applied research in geology and hydrology, his generous mentoring of students and peers, and his commitment to enhancing public awareness of the geosciences.”

He received a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and joined the Laboratory in 2001. Viswanathan is an expert in flow through porous media and reactive transport. His work examines subsurface energy extraction across multiple length scales. Viswanathan has over 100 publications in the area of energy and global security and has large multi-disciplinary projects such as reducing the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing operations. His research supports a wide range of applications including nuclear waste disposal, carbon sequestration, unconventional oil and gas, and nuclear nonproliferation. During his Laboratory career, Viswanathan has received a Los Alamos Award Program (LAAP) Outstanding Publication Award and the FEHM Programmatic Impact Award. Viswanathan leads the Subsurface Flow and Transport team of the Computational Earth Sciences group.

Wohletz’s achievements

The GSA cited Wohletz: “For his world-class field studies and modeling of hydrovolcanic eruptions; his classified and critical investigations into means and methods for verification and monitoring of participants in the Threshold and Comprehensive Test Ban treaties; and his programming abilities combined with his pioneering use of supercomputer simulation in the earth sciences.”

Wohletz received a Ph.D. degree in geology from Arizona State University, where he studied geophysical fluid dynamics, mathematical modeling, petrologic thermodynamics, and experimental physics. He conducted postdoctoral research in planetary cratering mechanics at NASA and served as a guest scientist of the Italian National Research Council before Los Alamos awarded him a Laboratory Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for shockwave studies in volcanism. A technical staff member at the Lab since 1983, his research has focused on monitoring technologies for nuclear test sites, numerical simulation of weapons effects and volcanic eruptions, and explosive fragmentation and particulate characterization.

About The Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a global professional society with a growing membership of more than 26,000 individuals in 115 countries. The GSA aims to advance geoscience research and discovery, service to society, stewardship of Earth, and the geosciences profession. The Society unites earth scientists worldwide in a common purpose to study the mysteries of our planet (and beyond) and share scientific findings. The GSA will recognize the new Fellows during The Geological Society of America annual meeting in Seattle, WA in October.


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