Rocky Mountain Section - 72nd Annual Meeting - 2020

Paper No. 7-13
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM


NOVA, Lisa, UVU College of Science, 1337 Sageberry Drive, Santaquin, UT 84655

In the summer of 2019 we conducted research into the attitude of people who live in areas of high volcanic risk. We traveled to three locations, Sicily, Stromboli and Pozzuoli. In each location residents were provided with a questionnaire, which consisted of 25 questions and three categories; demographics, Social Science and Earth Science. We also collected oral histories and video recordings. All together, we were able to gather 112 questionnaires and histories, 45 of which were usable for this study. There was little variation in responses to the question of why people were willing to live in high-risk areas (family and work were nearly always cited). An especially interesting finding of the survey was participants’ views on death. All participants reported not being afraid to die from a volcanic incident, and that they lived their lives as if they could die at any minute. These are responses of comfort with death that are unusual among most western cultures. This acceptance of death may be related to the memento mori, objects that some carry to remind them that death is imminent and that may help them live to the fullest. An interesting follow-up study would be to see how memento mori may vary from community to community, and assess whether memento mori design correlates with characteristics of nearby volcanoes.