Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


ELWONGER, Justin1, SHERMAN, Sarah Bean2, BURKEMPER, Laura K.3 and ARTHURS, Leilani1, (1)Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 330 Bessey Hall, P.O. Box 880340, Lincoln, NE 68588, (2)Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii, 1680 East West Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, (3)Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 211 Bessey Hall, P.O. Box 880340, Lincoln, NE 87131,

According to the April 2012 GSA Position Statement, “’geoheritage’ is a generic but descriptive term applied to sites or areas of geologic features with significant scientific, educational, cultural, or aesthetic value; [m]any geoheritage sites can be tourist destinations and provide local and regional economic benefits.” Furthermore, geoheritage sites advance the public’s knowledge about geologic processes and phenomena such as natural hazards. When it comes to natural hazards dealing with current volcanic and seismic activity in the United States, two states provide contrasting end members of activity – Hawai`i and Nebraska.

To determine the existence and nature of potential place-based differences in novice perceptions about the hazards associated with volcanic and seismic activity, a cognitive survey is developed and administered to college students in introductory-level courses in Nebraska and Hawai`i. In this presentation, the method of survey development and preliminary findings are discussed. The findings of this project will provide a basis for recommendations on how to approach teaching and communicating to the public about volcanic and seismic hazards in areas that are more or less geologically active in these ways. Thus, the significance of this project lies in its potential to offer regionally relevant and culturally sensitive recommendations that will improve public understanding of volcanic and seismic hazards and better prepare the public to respond to these hazards before, during, and in the aftermath of these events.