Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Gas Geochemistry

PROJECT DESCRIPTION Volcanic gas composition and emission rate measurements provide important insight to active volcanic processes. Gas data are integral to understanding magma dynamics, ongoing eruptive behavior, and the environmental effects from the ongoing eruption of Kilauea. HVO monitors volcanic gases in real time with chemical sensor-based systems and UV spectrometers, and through field surveys using UV and IR spectrometers. We have a variety of field, office, and laboratory projects related to our monitoring and research efforts.
VOLUNTEER DUTIES Routine field work includes conducting emission rate surveys, retrieving data from logging sensors, maintaining gas sensors and UV spectrometer systems, and carrying heavy equipment over rough terrain for gas surveys. While emission rate surveys are conducted from a vehicle, many monitoring stations are remote and can be accessed only by off-road vehicle (4x4) or foot. Work can be strenuous and, occasionally, at altitudes to 13,500 ft (4,100 m).

Typically, volunteers divide their time between field and office/lab work. Ongoing lab and office projects include computer data entry/management, report writing, constructing and maintaining monitoring instrumentation, performing analytical chemistry procedures, and other project support work.

Proficiency with Microsoft Office and some type of time series plotting software is essential. A background in chemistry, environmental studies, geography, earth science, mathematics or physics is required for data analysis and interpretation. Familiarity with programming languages, GIS software, and Windows operating system are all helpful. Electronics and construction and troubleshooting skills are helpful for the building and maintenance of gas monitoring stations.

Applicants should be in good physical condition and be willing to hike over uneven ground in diverse and inclement weather conditions. Applicants should not have respiratory problems such as asthma that might be aggravated by exposure to volcanic fumes. They must provide their own field gear, including rain gear and sturdy hiking boots.

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Updated: April 12 2016 19:37:14