Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:35 AM


RODRÍGUEZ, Lizzette A., Geology, University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez Campus, PO Box 9000, Mayaguez, PR 00681, POLAND, Michael P., Cascades Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, 1300 SE Caridinal Ct., Suite 100, Vancouver, WA 98683, TEASDALE, Rachel, Geological & Environmental Sciences, CSU Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0205 and KRAFT, Katrien J., Physical Sciences, Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202,

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, NASA and the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, initiated the Volcanoes Exploration Project: Pu‘u ‘O‘o (VEPP) in 2010 with the objective of developing accessible geoscience datasets that could be used for coursework, activities, and workshops. The VEPP web site includes near-real-time seismic, deformation, and geologic datasets used to monitor the Pu‘u ‘O‘o eruptive vent on Kilauea Volcano, as well as background information about monitoring and the Pu‘u ‘O‘o eruption. The web site is intended as an educational resource for teaching different levels and audiences by providing a dynamic learning environment with real volcano-monitoring data. To promote its use, a workshop was held at Kilauea in July 2010, with 25 participants who developed about 20 new activities (, including a 10-week project tested during the fall 2010 and 2011 semesters for a Volcanic Hazards elective course for undergraduate Geology students at the University of Puerto Rico. Students formed 3 expert groups, each assigned to work on seismic (RSAM) and deformation (GPS or tilt) monitoring data, accessed through the VALVE3 software, inside the VEPP web site. They presented biweekly progress reports and concluded with written and oral reports. The last task consisted of a wrap-up volcano monitoring exercise in which students discussed and reported on the future of Kilauea’s eruption based on their findings. This activity allowed students to submerge themselves in pseudo-real life volcano monitoring jobs, dealing with information the same way they might deal with a puzzle. They were able to better understand the work a volcano observatory does, as well as the kinds of data used by volcanologists around the world. Projects like VEPP are an important resource in geoscience education, and can also be adapted by scientists and volcano observatories to be used as a resource for education at other levels, such as public outreach.