« HAWAII! | Main | Lava »

April 2, 2003

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

I was lucky enough to have HVO put me up for a few nights in a lovely bed and breakfast in the nice little town of Volcano, in return for the simple task of giving a talk. Some of you may remember my plans to spend a few months here. Well, at least I've had the week...

I came up Monday evening, and was informed that my timing was such that I'd be able to catch an internal field trip on Tuesday. A day cruising around the less-travelled parts of Kilauea with one of the experts, and HVO's Scientist-in-Charge, Don Swanson. The field trip was for new HVO volunteers and US National Park Service interpreters, but I got to tag along. One of the perks of being in 'the business.'

The field trip was damp, but nice. The weather since I've been here has been mostly drizzly and cool, which is pleasant but not what one would anticipate when coming to Hawaii. Because of this, most the impressive views were made less impressive by cloud cover. Still, we toured some older lava flows and learned about explosive eruptions at Kilauea. They don't happen nearly as often as lava flows here, but they do happen.

Wednesday probably should have been a down day in front of the computer, but turned into a field day instead. In the morning, I had the pleasure of going with one of the volunteers back down to the lava. We traipsed around and found some active flows, not as close or as bright as the flows I saw on Sunday--so quickly these things change--but incredible just the same. Shortly upon arriving back, I received a few e-mail messages from folks at UNAVCO, GPS capital of the US: Hey, Beth, while you're there, want to do some work?

What? I'm on vacation! I guess, though, I'm travelling. It's different. So I headed out into the field to check on four GPS sites with another one of the volunteers. The trip was, as I suspected it would be, somewhat unfruitful. Each site was working, just not as well as it should have been, and there were no obvious problems.

After work, I headed out for Mai Tais with the volunteers. (My first Mai Tais in Hawaii!) It was a good thing to do after a day of unfruitful field work.

Posted by beth at April 2, 2003 1:35 PM