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Bruce Houghton with Kilauea eruption behind him
Bruce Houghton at the Kīlauea eruption. (Photo courtesy of SOEST)

Bruce Houghton, the Gordon A. Macdonald Professor of Volcanology at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has been a part of the field response team from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) since a week before the new Kīlauea eruption began.

Commented Houghton, “The SOEST Department of Geology and Geophysics (GG) and the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) have an outstanding endorsement of our training of volcanologists as seen in the composition of the HVO response crew.”

The group of around 40 HVO-affiliated scientists working 24/7 at the observatory includes nine past or present GG/HIGP graduates:

  • Jim Kauahikaua (United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientist, ex-scientist-in-charge)
  • Frank Trusdell (USGS scientist)
  • Wendy Stovall (USGS scientist)
  • Mathew Pattrick (USGS scientist)
  • Carolyn Parcheta (USGS scientist)
  • Tim Orr (USGS scientist)
  • Samantha Isgett (post-doctoral researcher)
  • Brian Shiro (current PhD student)
  • Brett Walker (current PhD student)

Walker commented, “It is like a reunion of UH’s 21st century students in physical volcanology.”

SOEST Dean Brian Taylor further noted that “these numbers demonstrate the benefits to the State of Hawaiʻi of the teaching in volcanology offered at UH Mānoa and are also a strong endorsement of the quality of our degrees.”

—By Marcie Grabowski

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