David A. Williams' research interests are in volcanology and planetary geology, with a focus on remote sensing, geologic mapping, and computer modeling. His research has included computer modeling of seismic wave propagation through planetary interiors, visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of lunar mare soils, and computer modeling of the thermal, fluid dynamic and geochemical evolution of low-viscosity lava flows in a variety of planetary environments. His teaching background includes GLG 101 Physical Geology and GLG 490/598 Planetary Volcanology. He is also involved outreach activities, including giving talks to school and civic groups and developing educational materials.
David received his Bachelor of Science in Astronomy & Astrophysics (with minors in Mathematics and Geology) from Indiana University in 1989, and his Master of Science in Geology from Arizona State University in 1992, where he analyzed Galileo lunar data during Earth-Moon Encounters 1 and 2 (December 1990, 1992). He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Alabama in 1998, where he was a three-time Graduate Council Research Fellow and received the award for Outstanding Research by a Doctoral Student in 1998. His dissertation research focused on computer modeling of the emplacement of very high-temperature, low-viscosity komatiite lava flows in the Earth's Precambrian, and included field study of komatiite lava flows in Canada, Western Australia, and South Africa.
David was an affiliate of NASA's Galileo Spacecraft Solid State Imaging Team. He is currently working on data analysis and geologic mapping of Io, and on identifying the geochemical evidence of erosion by flowing lava in ancient ultramafic and modern basaltic lava flows. He is also an affiliate of the European Space Agency's Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo Camera Team, preparing for the arrival of the Mars Express spacecraft on December 25, 2003.Dr. Williams' Home Page