people watching plume from volcano
From left, Kris Roney, Bonnie Irwin, and Jim Mike view the Halemaʻumaʻu plume, near Keanakakoi, December 23, 2020. (Photo credit: Darcy Blevens)

Leaders from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo saw first hand what researchers and alumni are working on at the site of the recent Kīlauea volcanic eruption at Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

person explaining tree formation at Kilauea
Geologist Steve Lundblad, center front, explains formation of tree molds, while Jim Mike, his wife, and Nancy Lundblad keep social distance. (Photo credit: Darcy Bevens)

Steve Lundblad and Darcy Bevens, from the UH Hilo geology department headed the tour at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on December 23. Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin, Vice Chancellor Kris Roney, College of Natural and Health Sciences Dean Jim Mike, along with geology faculty visited the site.

The group viewed the steam from the Kīlauea eruption and saw samples of Pele’s hair (volcanic glass), ash and volcanic rock.

“It was wonderful to tour the park with knowledgeable geology faculty and staff and to hear about the work our alumni are doing as part of the USGS HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory),” Irwin said. “It is such a privilege to have such awesome natural wonders practically in our backyard here in Hilo. Each eruption is different from the next and each is fascinating. Makes me want to take a geology class!”

Go to UH Hilo Stories for the full article and more photos.

—By Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories.

After sunset, the UHadministrators enjoy a view of other visitors, silhouetted against the Halemaʻumaʻu plume, December 23, 2020. (Photo credit: Darcy Bevens)