Using near-real-time monitoring data from Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent at Kīlauea Volcano for training and educational purposes

Journal of Applied Volcanology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Training non-scientists in the use of volcano-monitoring data is critical preparation in advance of a volcanic crisis, but it is currently unclear which methods are most effective for improving the content-knowledge of non-scientists to help bridge communications between volcano experts and non-experts. We measured knowledge gains for beginning-(introductory-level students) and novice-level learners (students with a basic understanding of geologic concepts) engaged in the Volcanoes Exploration Program: Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō (VEPP) “Monday Morning Meeting at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory” classroom activity that incorporates authentic Global Positioning System (GPS), tilt, seismic, and webcam data from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruptive vent on Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i (NAGT website, 2010), as a means of exploring methods for effectively advancing non-expert understanding of volcano monitoring. Learner groups consisted of students in introductory and upper-division college geology courses at two different institutions. Changes in their content knowledge and confidence in the use of data were assessed before and after the activity using multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Learning assessments demonstrated that students who took part in the exercise increased their understanding of volcano-monitoring practices and implications, with beginners reaching a novice stage, and novices reaching an advanced level (akin to students who have completed an upper-division university volcanology class). Additionally, participants gained stronger confidence in their ability to understand the data. These findings indicate that training modules like the VEPP: Monday Morning Meeting classroom activity that are designed to prepare non-experts for responding to volcanic activity and interacting with volcano scientists should introduce real monitoring data prior to proceeding with role-paying scenarios that are commonly used in such courses. The learning gains from the combined approach will help improve effective communications between volcano experts and non-experts during times of crisis, thereby reducing the potential for confusion and misinterpretation of data.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Using near-real-time monitoring data from Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent at Kīlauea Volcano for training and educational purposes
Series title Journal of Applied Volcanology
DOI 10.1186/s13617-015-0026-x
Volume 4
Issue 11
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 16 p.
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Kīlauea Volcano
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N