UC Berkeley geophysicist Michael Manga is among this year's winners of the coveted “genius awards.” The MacArthur Foundation selected Manga, an associate professor of Earth and Planetary Science, to be the recipient of a grant totaling $500,000 with no restrictions on how the money is spent. Dr. Manga applies his background in fluid dynamics to a wide variety of fundamental questions in geology, including the monitoring of seismic activity, temperature, and geochemical content of spring waters along the Hayward Fault.

The phenomena he explores range in scale from microscopic to planetary. Manga began his research career by investigating the fluid...

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