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A weekly feature provided by scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

February 9, 2012


Centennial poster contest winners honored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Hawaiʻi Island 4th grade student Jyron Young was awarded the Grand Prize in HVO's centennial poster contest for his stunning artwork depicting 100 years of volcano watching (top center). All ten winning posters are posted on HVO's website at hvo.wr.usgs.gov. USGS photo.


The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently honored Hawaiʻi Island students who created winning posters celebrating the observatory's 100th anniversary. The award ceremony was held during HVO's centennial open house on January 21, 2012.

HVO, which has continuously monitored Hawaiian eruptions and earthquakes since the observatory was founded in 1912, hosted the poster contest to commemorate its centennial milestone. Because volcanic processes and scientific observation are included in Hawaiʻi's 4th grade science curriculum, we targeted that grade level for the contest.

In an announcement last fall, Hawaiʻi Island 4th grade students were invited to create posters conveying a message about HVO's work in monitoring Hawaiian volcanoes. Within some set guidelines, students were free to focus on the historical, scientific or cultural aspects of volcano watching—or all three—as they designed and created their posters.

We had no idea whether, or how many, students would participate in HVO's contest, but the response far exceeded our expectations: 217 posters were submitted by students from 16 different schools around the Island.

A panel of five judges—a scientist, an educator, a retired art center director, a radio host, and a marketing manager—selected first, second, and third place winners from each of the three Hawaiʻi Department of Education (DOE) Complex Areas and one overall Grand Prize winner. Choosing the 10 best of 217 amazing posters was not an easy task, but through careful and thoughtful consideration of each poster, the judges eventually identified the winners.

Jyron Young, who was a student at Waiakeāwaena Elementary School when he created his stunning poster, is the Grand Prize winner. While at Waiakeāwaena, his teachers were Susan Lee and Ada Kubo.

The Kaʻū–Keaʻau–Pāhoa DOE Complex Area honorees include two students from Malamalama Waldorf School: first place winner Elijah Lacks-Park and second place winner Yasmine Butterfield, both of whom are taught by Lynn Pena. Third place winner Caitlyn Long attends Nāʻālehu Elementary School, and her teacher is Hettie Rush.

In the Hilo–Laupāhoehoe–Waiākea DOE Complex Area, the first place winner is Bryce Camacho, a Chiefess Kapiʻolani Elementary School student in Kim Springer's class. Second place winner Meghan Veincent attends Keaukaha Elementary School and created her poster under the guidance of Kumu Lurline Agbayani. The third place honoree is Julianne Lee, a Waiakeāwaena Elementary School student taught by Susan Lee (no relation).

The Honokaʻa–Kealakehe–Kohala–Konawaena DOE Complex Area first place winner is Ava Hunter, a Waikōloa Elementary School student in Jenna Nakao's class. The other two honorees are Honokaʻa Elementary School students: second place winner Kaddison Quiocho and third place winner Jannabel Bielza. Their teacher is Cindy Sharp.

Prizes awarded to these students were selected to reflect the work of HVO—observing and documenting volcanic and earthquake activity in Hawaiʻi. The awards included a digital camera (grand prize), binoculars (first place), a geologic hand lens (second place), and a mini-LED microscope (third place). Each winner also received a copy of "Volcano Watching," written by a former HVO Scientist-in-Charge, the late Bob Decker, and his wife, Barbara. All awards were donated by current and former HVO staff.

Six posters also received honorable mentions based on their artistic or thematic merit. Ribbons will be awarded to students who created these posters: Giselle Valdovinos, Hōlualoa Elementary; Chloe Hughes, St. Joseph Elementary; Halia Buchal, Parker Elementary; Zoey Block, Malamalama Waldorf; Keala Pule, Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo; and Lexus Balinbin, Pāhoa Elementary.

In addition to the individual student awards, all teachers who took part in the contest will receive a set of USGS educational materials for the benefit of every student in their classrooms.

All posters were displayed at KTA Superstores in Hilo, Kamuela, and Kailua until February 10. The 10 winning and 6 honorable mention posters can still be viewed on HVO's website (hvo.wr.usgs.gov).

HVO thanks the 217 students and their teachers for participating in the contest, the judges who selected the winners, and KTA Superstores for displaying the students' work. We also thank the public libraries in Hilo, Honokaʻa, North Kohala, Kailua-Kona, Kealakekua, Nāʻālehu, and Pāhoa for serving as drop-off points for poster submissions.

Congratulations to HVO's centennial poster contest winners! Job well done!

Kīlauea Activity Update

A lava lake present within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook vent during the past week resulted in night-time glow that was visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The lake, which is normally about 100–125 m (330–410 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater and is visible by HVO's Webcam, rose and fell slightly during the week in response to a series of large deflation-inflation cycles. On February 2 and 3, two large collapses of the vent crater wall triggered small explosions that threw spatter onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

On Kīlauea's east rift zone, surface lava flows were active in the upper part of the flow field, about 4.5–6 km (3–4 miles) southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, over the past week. On Wednesday, February 8, these flows were 300 m (330 yards) from the northern boundary of the Royal Gardens subdivision. There are no active flows on the coastal plain, and there is no active ocean entry.

One earthquake beneath Hawaiʻi Island was reported felt this past week. A magnitude-2.7 earthquake occurred at 11:07 p.m., HST, on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, and was located 9 km (6 mi) southeast of Mauna Kea's summit at a depth of 19 km (12 mi).

Visit our Web site (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for detailed Kīlauea and Mauna Loa activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kīlauea activity summary; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.


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