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Cast of Characters

Stanley Williams is a professor of geology at Arizona State University and an eminent volcanologist. In 1993, he led a group of scientists who were attending a conference on volcanology in Pasto in southwestern Colombia, to the top of Galeras. He survived the eruption, despite life-threatening injuries.

Marta Calvache is a native of the Andes and Williams’s Ph.D. student. She led the rescue that saved Stan Williams’s life.

Patty Mothes is an American scientist studying volcanoes who has lived and studied volcanoes in Ecuador since 1985. She led the rescue team with Marta.

Igor Menyailov was a highly regarded Russian volcanologist who was killed in the eruption. This was his first visit to Galeras and to South America. He was collecting gas samples for his research into the relationship between gases and a volcano’s behavior.

Geoff Brown was a geologist and volcanologist from Yorkshire, England. This was his first trip to Galeras, and his intent was to map the innards of the volcano. Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University, Brown did pioneering studies in the field of gravity and volcanoes. He was killed in the eruption.

Nestor Garcia was a Colombian scientist and geochemist who, like Igor Menyailov, was taking gas samples of Galeras. He’d been working with Williams since the disastrous eruption of 1985 in Colombia. He taught at the National University in his hometown of Manizales. He was killed in the eruption.

Fernando Cuenca was a Colombian geophysicist who was educated in Russia and worked for Colombia’s Geological Survey. He was eagerly working with Geoff Brown on methods of measuring gravity. He was the youngest geologist on Galeras, and was killed in the eruption.

Carlos Trujillo was a professor of civil engineering at Cesmag, a university in Pasto. He was not a geologist, but was fascinated by volcanoes and had been studying them. He had a contract with the Geological Survey of Colombia to perform deformation studies at Galeras. He did not survive the eruption.

Jose Arles Zapata was a young volcanologist and geologist with the Geological Survey of Colombia. He had worked extensively with Williams and had planned to work with Igor, in the study of volcanic gases. He was killed during the eruption.

Also featured in Surviving Galeras:

Efrain Armand Guerrero Zamboni was dean of academics and a social sciences teacher at the University of San Felipe in Pasto. With his teenage son, Yovany Alexander Guerrero Benavides, and his son’s friend, Henri Vasques, Zamboni climbed the volcano to observe the scientists at work. All three were killed.

Mike Conway is a scientist from Florida International University and a friend of Stan Williams. He was planning to insert special thermometers inside fumaroles as part of a study of temperatures and physics of volcanic gases. He survived the eruption.

Andy Macfarlane
is a scientist from Florida International University and a survivor of the eruption. The visit to Galeras was his first time on an active volcano.

Luis LeMarie is a scientist from the National Polytechnic School in Quito, Ecuador, who was sampling gases on Galeras the day it erupted. He survived.

Andy Adams is a scientist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He survived the eruption.

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