Dr. Robert Tilling
Born in Shanghai, China, Bob Tilling arrived in the U.S. in 1946 and grew up in southern California (near San Diego). After receiving his BA (1958) from Pomona College and Ph.D. (1963) from Yale University, he joined the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). His first project involved studies of the Boulder batholith (southwestern Montana), after which he mostly worked on volcanic eruptions and associated hazards in the U.S. and elsewhere, beginning with his assignment to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (1972-1976). In between research assignments, Bob held several USGS managerial positions and was an invited consultant to some foreign countries (e.g., Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico, and Peru) regarding volcano-hazards programs. In 1980, while serving as Chief of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program, he coordinated the scientific response to the reawakening and catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens.
Although “officially” retired since 2004, Bob continues volcano-hazards studies as a Scientist Emeritus with the USGS Volcano Science Center in Menlo Park, California. Throughout his career (and retirement), he has actively contributed to educational and public outreach, co-authoring numerous general-interest publications about volcanoes and plate tectonics. Bob and his wife Susan spend part of each summer in Jackson, with their younger daughter and family. They also enjoy foreign travel and tasting wines, whenever opportunities arise. A Board Member of GJH since 2017, Bob has given many public lectures, organized two field trips to Hawaii, and served on the website committee.