Top volcano scientist comes to Hawaii from Alaska

Top volcano scientist comes to Hawaii from Alaska

HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii (AP) - The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's new scientist-in-charge is coming to Hawaii from Alaska where she has been mapping and studying active Alaskan volcanoes for more than two decades.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Friday Christina Neal has been a geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory for nearly 25 years.

Neal also has experience in Hawaii. In the 1980s, she monitored Kilauea volcano during the early years of the East Rift Zone eruption. She monitored Mauna Kea during the 1984 eruption.

She starts her new job on Sunday. She succeeds Jim Kauahikaua, who is stepping aside to focus on research.

Neal served as acting scientist-in-charge of the Alaska Volcano Observatory in 2010. She was chief of staff and deputy regional director for the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Regional Office from 2009 to 2010.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.