GETSI Teaching Materials >Monitoring Volcanoes and Communicating Risks > Unit 2: Kilauea Hawai'i - Monday Morning Meeting at the USGS Hawai'i Volcano Observatory
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Unit 2: Kilauea Hawai'i - Monday Morning Meeting at the USGS Hawai'i Volcano Observatory

Kaatje van der Hoeven Kraft, Whatcom Community College and Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico

Summary

How do volcanologists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory monitor volcanoes? In a jigsaw format, students first work in teams to learn one of the four volcano monitoring data sets (GPS, Tilt, Seismic and InSAR) and then move to mixed groups to work acting as USGS scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to share their data set, learn from their teammates how to interpret the other data sets, and develop a forecast for an eruption of Pu'u O'o at Kilauea volcano.

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Learning Goals

Unit 2 Learning Outcomes

Students will

  • Interpret tilt, seismic, GPS and InSAR data preceding an eruptive event at Kilauea to develop a forecast for the eruptive conditions
  • Be able to compare and contrast tilt, seismic, GPS and InSAR data to determine which data are best for different monitoring scenarios
  • Use geodetic evidence from the 2007 Father's Day event (Pu'u O'o Episode 56, June-July 2007) to communicate future risks to surrounding communities taking into accounting cultural sensitivities

Context for Use

This unit is designed for an introductory level non-majors geoscience course, but can be adapted to low- to mid-level Volcanology, Geologic Hazards and other courses. The unit can be completed in two days of a 50 -75 minute class period or all in one day for a longer (e.g. 2-hour) class period. It may be helpful, but not necessary for students to be familiar with different volcano types, tectonic environments, and magma sources, but properties of shield volcanoes is introduced in the instructor presentation for this unit.

Description and Teaching Materials

Every Monday at 9 am, the staff of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gather to discuss monitoring data and geologic observations collected over the past week from Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. These "Monday Morning Meetings" serve several purposes, including:

  1. Bringing the observatory staff (and National Park Service rangers who also attend) up-to-date about recent activity
  2. Providing a forum for discussions and interpretations about volcanic activity (taking advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the gathering)
  3. Allowing for the formulation of a consistent message about recent activity for use in public outreach.
Unit 2 follows the Monday Morning Meeting format as a means of illustrating the nature of both volcano monitoring data and how scientific interpretations are formulated.

Options for modification to a single class period and/or longer class periods (e.g. two 75-minute classes) are offered in the Instructor's Presentation and in this Description and Teaching Materials section. All files (Pre-work, In-class work, Data, Keys and Instructor's Presentation) are posted below at the end of this section.

Introductory/Pre-class work:

Single class period modification: If all phases of this activity will be completed in a single class period, then the pre-work for Day 1 and Day 2 should be provided to students prior to Day 1. Otherwise the readings and questions can be done in class. Preparatory Lava Flow Hazard and Lava Flow Diversion readings and questions are posted below.

In-Class Activity Description

DAY 1 (50 min)

  • Preparatory reading & questions: Lava Flow Hazard (posted below) (or these can be assigned as homework prior to class)
  • Phase 1: Introduction (5-10 min) to USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory (HVO) Monday Morning Meetings using Slides 1-11 in Instructor's Presentation.
  • Phase 2: Disciplinary (Expert) Groups (15 -20 min, Slide 12) Following the introduction, the instructor will divide the students into four groups of four students per group to learn about one of the data types: 1) tilt data, 2) GPS data, 3) seismic data, and 4) InSAR data. Groups will read a short description of the data type and a complete the Discipline Worksheet relevant to their data type (posted below). Questions on the worksheets will drive the discussion and exploration of their type of data.
  • Phase 3: Expert Group Data Analysis (15-20 min) As groups learn about their data type, the instructor can distribute data for summer 2007. Disciplinary groups will examine their type of data in the file, Data for all groups, and continue answering questions in the Discipline Worksheet, to formulate hypotheses about the current and possible future activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō, based on their specific data. Each group member of each group should record answers to the questions on their own worksheet for use in Day 2 (Phases 4- 6).

DAY 2 (50 min) (or the second part of the same day if a single longer class period is used)

  • Preparatory reading & questions: Lava Flow Diversion (posted below) (or these can be assigned as homework prior to class)
  • Phase 4: Mixed group discussion (15 min; Slide 13) At the start of class (or before class), the instructor will assign students to new, interdisciplinary groups, such that each group includes at least one member from each of the previous disciplinary groups (in other words, each new interdisciplinary group will have an "expert" on tilt, GPS, seismic data, and InSAR). Interdisciplinary group discussions are guided by worksheets and begin with each disciplinary "expert" taking ~1 minute to tell the rest of the group what their data are used for, the advantages and disadvantages of that data type, and their interpretation of the data based on the conclusions of the disciplinary group. After each discipline expert has presented to their colleagues, the worksheet guides discussion to focus groups on developing an interpretation of the activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō that satisfies all data types. At this stage, each small group is essentially holding a mini-Monday Morning Meeting. Each student should complete the Interdisciplinary Groups Worksheet.
Be sure to let your students know how much time they have to share information, so they can budget their time for each person to share.
  • Phase 5: Report out (5 min, Slide 14-15) Instructor asks students a multiple choice/clicker question for a quick report-out of what groups thought would happen based on the combined data.
    • Longer class period option (10-15 min, Slide 15): Discussion-based report-out options:
      • Instructor calls on groups to present their interpretations, and each subsequent group could build on the hypotheses of the previous (explaining whether or not they agree and why, presenting alternative viewpoints, and pointing out aspects of the data that might not otherwise have been covered)
      • Each group reports on activity at different time periods within the data set
  • Phase 6: Resolution, assess utility of data types (10 min; Slides 16-20)
    • Slides guide what ultimately happened in 2007 Father's Day event (Slides 16-17)
    • Students consider which data types are most useful for short term and long term monitoring time periods (Slides 18-19)
  • Phase 7: Transition to later eruptionsVideo from community meeting (8 min, Slide 26)
    • Introduction to Pahoa 2014 and idea of diversion (from pre-reading) (Slides 20-22)
    • Students brainstorm reasons why they might not want to divert lava flows (5 min, Slides 23-24) using Think-pair-share
    • Watch a video of a community meeting (7 min, Slide 25) Instructor shows embedded video from 0:00-2:48 and 5:49-9:55 = 7:10 min. The first speaker advocates for lava flow diversion measures to prevent lava from his home. Subsequent speakers are native Hawai'ians who explain the importance of not interfering with the natural processes of Pele (the Hawai'ian goddess who lives in and governs over Kilauea volcano). Instructors should be sensitive to students with varying beliefs, including those who are sympathetic to religious beliefs and culture that guide native Hawai'ian's views.
    • Longer class period option: Watch whole video (0:00-11:24 min, Slide 25)
  • Phase 8: Pro's and con's of diverting lava flows (5 min, Slide 26) Re-do think-pair-share (Slide 26), students reconsider their ideas of diverting lava flows after having observed the opinions of residents in the community meeting video
    • Longer class period option: Discuss lava flow diversion as a whole class or in small groups
  • Phase 9: Result of 2014 and 2018 eruptions (5 min; Slides 27-32): Instructors use slides to review lava flows emplaced in 2014, when flows approached the outskirts of town but did not destroy homes. No diversions were made. Next slides describe a few details of the 2018 eruption (Slides 29-31), with a final note that diversions in 2018 would have been costly, ineffective, and dangerous.
If a report is required, the students will take the worksheets home to aid with the report writing.

After class: Written report (optional). Each student will write a report as if they were a volcanologist at the observatory summarizing their interpretations of the activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō for the Scientist-in-Charge (i.e., the instructor). The text of the report should include a summary and interpretations of each data type, figures supporting those interpretations, an overall hypothesis about volcanic activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō for the time period explored. Grading should follow the example rubric (Unit 2 Report Rubric (Microsoft Word 32kB Jul25 10)) and the Poland et al. 2008, EOS article on Kilauea volcanism can be used to support students with their final interpretation or be shared after they complete their assessment.

Files for Background Readings (can be pre-class work or done in-class for longer class sessions)

Day 1: All students should read the USGS Information on Lava Flow Hazards (Acrobat (PDF) 185kB Jun5 18) and complete the Lava Flow Hazards Questions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 200kB May31 19), see the pre-class reading key (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 201kB May31 19), provided for instructors.

Day 2: All students should read information regarding Lava Flow Diversion (Acrobat (PDF) 1.6MB Feb1 19) and complete the Lava Flow Diversion Questions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 531kB May31 19), see the pre-class reading key (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 531kB May31 19), provided for instructors

Files for In-Class Work:

Instructors presentation (both days)

Expert Group Segment (Phase 2-3): Data sets, readings and questions for all expert groups (InSAR, Seismic, Tilt, GPS)

The instructor should assign one of the following to each student:

Interdisciplinary Group Segment (Phase 4):

Teaching Notes and Tips

Mechanics of the Activity

  • This is a Jigsaw activity. Organization of the activity is key, particularly in very large and very small classes. In large classes, we recommend assigning students into groups one at a time so they know where they need to sit to first meet their expert group members (Phase 2). Using colored paper is a good way to communicate to students how to find their mixed groups in the latter stage of the jigsaw activity (Phase 4).
  • The structure of the activity is similar to one developed for the use of near real-time data for the NAGT Volcano Exploration Project, Pu'u O'o (VEPP) using Pu'u O'o data from the Father's Day event in 2007, but here we replace gravity data and web cam images for InSAR data.
  • Assessment activities are shown below, as well as in the Assessment Tab of this module. There, a summative assessment activity is described in which students write a letter of advice regarding the use of monitoring data and some of the cultural concerns related to lava flow diversion, which is often suggested by residents when their homes are in peril of lava flow inundation. Community meetings in Hawaii during volcanic crises are available on YouTube (and elsewhere). Two videos that show some residents at meetings who emphatically convey the desire for lava flow diversion and similarly passionate Native Hawaiian residents are useful to the Assessment. The second video below is used in Day 2 of the activity.

Pedagogical Considerations

  • This activity is designed to facilitate student-student interactions which foster student learning by requiring them to negotiate the content among themselves. This active learning approach is based on what research indicates is most effective for student learning, however some students can be resistant to this approach for a number of reasons including:
    • A perception that they're not learning from experts: it may help to address this by indicating to students the reason for your approach and some of the research in how this ultimately results in greater success by the students and supports skill development sought by employers (this link provides an overview and resources)
    • They lack confidence in their own capabilities: this unit has opportunities for students to build on each others work and learn by correcting any mistakes, so that students can take risks in failure and still benefit and learn. In addition, the lesson is designed to help them build their confidence or self-efficacy as they learn more.
    • They are introverted and do not like to interact with others: this is a tricky one, as students may always default to the silent role. Assigning roles may help with asking students to take on different assigned roles, and there are also aspects of this lesson that can help introverts "recenter" by having more silent reflection time.
  • When calling on individuals for responses to whole-class discussions, it can help to ask only when there are more than one correct answer and/or provide students time to talk to their neighbors through Think-Pair-Share before sharing out. These can help to alleviate the concerns of being "wrong." In addition, using clickers in large classes, raising hands, or thumbs up/thumbs down options can easily gauge where students are for alert levels and then lead to sharing in smaller groups.

Very Small- and Large- Enrollment Courses:

Group Activities are often most effective with groups of 3-5 students.

  • Courses with very small enrollment (e.g. less than 15 students) can divide topics among a smaller number of groups (e.g. two groups that look at two data types each). This will likely also use more class time. Alternatively, instructors of small enrollment courses can provide results/input for 1-2 of the data types so once in mixed groups of the Jigsaw (Phase 4), students only have to present on the 1 type of data they explored in the expert group (Phase 2), but can use all 4 data types in analysis.
  • Instructors of courses with more than 15-20 students can organize multiple sets of jigsaw groups so that there are several expert groups (Phase 2) that regroup into a mixed group (Phase 4). During report-outs, all groups can contribute (Phase 5).
  • Very large enrollment courses in challenging room settings (e.g. lecture theaters) may find it overly time consuming to try to move large numbers of students among groups. In this case, it works well to start the activity during the middle of one class period (e.g. Phase 1-2) and then have students arrive in class on the 2nd day and start in their mixed groups. See more ideas about using jigsaw activities in very large enrollment courses in Teasdale's Instructor Stories.All-class report- outs can be modified to have students report using clickers or even a free online program such as https://www.polleverywhere.com in which students use their cell phones.
  • Distributing handouts can be time-consuming in very large enrollment courses, but can be facilitated by preparing sets of handouts that can be retrieved by a single group member. It may save time to have stacks of handouts around the room. In some cases geology majors or geology/science club members can be recruited to help distribute handouts in class.

Assessment

Formative Assessment: In expert groups, students will use a handout to learn one of the four data types, by answering questions about the type of data and their interpretation of that data. In mixed groups, each student will summarize the three other data types (what that type of data indicates and an interpretation of the specific data set examined) and then as a group they develop an eruption forecast using the combination of all four data sets. The instructor will lead an all-class discussion in which groups can report out their final results. Instructors may use the table students compile in their mixed groups as a formative assessment of their students learning. The Interdisciplinary Mixed Group Key (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 203kB May31 19) and pdf-version-not updated (Acrobat (PDF) 110kB Jun7 18) can be used as a guide, but the point of Formative Assessment is to give students low stakes feedback, rather than to be graded.

Summative Assessment option 1: Instructors collect in-class handouts for grading. The key to this assessment is in the [file ##final## "In Class Work'] section of the Description and Teaching Materials box above.

[Learning Outcome 2 addressed: Students will be able to compare and contrast tilt, seismic, GPS and InSAR data to determine which data are best for different monitoring scenarios]

Summative Assessment option 2: Students will take on the role as a USGS geoscientist presenting to a local community meeting key points to address the local populations concerns about the 2007 volcanic activity considering the data from the activity. These bulleted points should include the geodetic data with key figures from the activity to support their claims and consider cultural sensitivities with regards to people and their property, rubric (Microsoft Word 35kB Sep30 18) can assist with grading of the response. The video links can be used to consider social concerns in the 2014 eruption, which may be useful for preparing notes on the 2007 eruption.

[Learning Outcome 3 addressed: Students will use geodetic evidence from the Father's Day event to communicate future risks to surrounding communities taking into accounting cultural sensitivities]

Summative Assessment option 3: Each student will write a report as if they were a volcanologist at the observatory summarizing their interpretations of the activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō for the Scientist-in-Charge (i.e., the instructor). The text of the report should include a summary and interpretations of each data type, figures supporting those interpretations, an overall hypothesis about volcanic activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō for the time period explored. The Poland et al. 2008, EOS article on Kilauea volcanism is a helpful resource to help them read another perspective that describes what events actually happened during the Father's Day Event. Use the Scientist in Charge Letter Rubric (Microsoft Word 35kB Sep30 18) to assess student learning. Note this assessment is very similar to Summative Assessment option 2 in Unit 1 for the Mount St. Helens activity of this module.

[Learning Outcome 1 & 2 addressed: Students will interpret tilt, seismic, GPS and InSAR data preceding an eruptive event at Kilauea to develop a forecast for the eruptive conditions, Students will be able to compare and contrast tilt, seismic, GPS and InSAR data to determine which data are best for different monitoring scenarios]

References and Resources

  • Kauahikaua, J. P., & Tilling, R. I. (2014). Natural hazards and risk reduction in Hawai 'i. In Characteristics of Hawaiian Volcanoes (pp. 397-427). US Geological Survey Hawaii, USA.
  • Poland, M., Miklius, A., Orr, T., Sutton, J., Thornber, C., & Wilson, D. (2008). New episodes of volcanism at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 89(5), 37-38.
  • Poland, M., Orr, T. R., Kauahikaua, J. P., Brantley, S. R., Babb, J. L., Patrick, M. R., and Elias, T. (2016). The 2014–2015 Pāhoa lava flow crisis at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai 'i: Disaster avoided and lessons learned. GSA Today, 26 (2), 4-10.
  • ŸTeasdale, R., van der Hoeven Kraft, K., & Poland, M. P. (2015). Using near-real-time monitoring data from Pu 'u 'Ō 'ō vent at Kīlauea Volcano for training and educational purposes. Journal of Applied Volcanology, 4(1), 11.
  • USGS Mount St. Helens 2004-2008 Eruption Timeline
  • As noted in teaching notes & tips, this activity is modified from one from the 2010 NAGT-VEPP workshop, Poland et al., 2010. Results of student learning and increased self-efficacy from the use of that activity are described in Teasdale et al., 2015, referenced above.

Additional Resources for Students and Instructors:

  • Geodesy is the measurement and monitoring of the size and shape of Earth included within a three-dimensional, time varying space.), more info at What is Geodesy?

For more on interpreting geodetic data, see:

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This module is part of a growing collection of classroom-tested materials developed by GETSI. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »