July 3, 2003
A weekly feature provided by scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Cooperative training by University of Hawai`i and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
This week the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is cooperating with the University of Hawai`i to conduct a workshop in volcanology for graduate students from several U.S. universities. The workshop is being held in conjunction with the Cities on Volcanoes 3 meeting, in Hilo July 14-18. The COV3 meeting will be described in next week's Volcano Watch.
The National Science Foundation awarded a grant to fund the 6-day workshop based in Volcano village. Competition for the 18 workshop slots was keen. Those selected, all Americans (by NSF rule), come from universities scattered across the mainland, from Fairbanks to Pittsburgh, as well as from UH itself.
The workshop provides an unusual opportunity to bring together potential future leaders in the field at an early stage of their careers. They will be placed in a field environment previously experienced by only a few of them. They will meet and work with each other and with senior volcanologists in one of the world's most famous, and best, volcanic settings.
The workshop has three themes, each drawing upon field examples from Kilauea or Mauna Loa.
This workshop is only one of a number of examples of how UH and HVO cooperate to train students of volcanology, as well as professional volcanologists from developing nations. The Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at UHH, in partnership with HVO, is currently conducting its annual training course for scientists from developing nations in techniques of volcanic hazards monitoring and response. The course this year was timed so that students could attend the COV3 meeting during their last week in Hilo.
Throughout each academic year, HVO scientists interact with UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo in many ways, participating in student field trips, giving classroom lectures, guiding individual students on research projects, and serving on graduate-student thesis committees. There is a sense that "we're all in this together," and the students benefit from hearing different opinions and learning different techniques from "academic" and "governmental" scientists. All of this is in addition to the professional cooperation among many of the scientists themselves.
There is no free lunch, of course, and the training that HVO does comes at a cost-time. HVO is not funded as an educational institution but instead as a part of the federal government. Its staff has a pretty full schedule taken up with monitoring and trying to understand Hawai`i's volcanoes. But we view the cost as an investment in the future. We are proud to be taking part in the educational process through our cooperation and partnership with the University of Hawai`i.
Eruptive activity at the Pu`u `O`o vent of Kilauea Volcano continued unabated during the past week. Discontinuous surface flows are spread across Pulama pali from top to bottom, and a strong glow comes from breakouts above the pali. Scattered surface breakouts also occur from the top of Paliuli to within 100 m (100 yd) of the Highcastle sea cliff. The ocean entry from the Highcastle delta is small and weak.
The public is reminded that the ocean entry areas are extremely hazardous, with explosions accompanying sudden collapses of the new land. The steam clouds are highly acidic and laced with glass particles. The National Park Service has put warning signs in critical places. Do not venture beyond these signs and onto the lava deltas and benches.
No earthquakes were reported felt on the island during the past week.
Updated: July 9, 2003 (pnf)