Drs. Nicole Lautze and Donald Thomas shared their water research on the television show Voice of the Sea. In the episode “Water Resources Research,” Don talked about discovering new groundwater sources 10,000 feet below sea level on the Big Island:
[This discovery] helps us better maintain the resource and sort of change our thinking about how to regulate the resource, how to manage the resource, and maybe even ways we can better develop the resource with fewer impacts.
Nicole discussed looking at samples from deep underground and learning how various rock forms affect the flow and storage of freshwater underground:
More and more, we need to focus our work on very practical applications like what’s going to happen to our groundwater supply as the climate changes as population continues to grow. Well, we’ll need to understand where our water is coming from, where it’s stored, how it flows, because as populations grow, contamination issues arise.
For the Telly Awards, this episode won a bronze award in the education category, as announced in a UH news release:
Every year since 1990, technicians and scientists from developing countries with active volcanoes have come to Hawai‘i for a 6-week course to learn the latest volcano-monitoring techniques. The course is run by the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV), based out of the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Hilo, and led by Don Thomas, faculty member at the UH Mānoa Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP).
This year, Nicole Lautze (HIGP) and Scott Rowland (Department of Earth Sciences), researchers in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, shared their expertise in physical volcanology and remote sensing with participants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, and The Philippines.
The CSAV International Training Program is designed to assist developing nations in attaining self-sufficiency in monitoring volcanoes. The field training emphasizes volcano monitoring methods, both data collection and interpretation, in use by the U.S. Geological Survey and participants are taught how to use and maintain volcano monitoring instruments.
Hawaiian volcanoes are among the most active in the world, but unlike violently explosive volcanoes they can be approached and studied without significant risk. As a result, CSAV provides the ideal environment for practicing volcano monitoring techniques.
In addition to learning to assess volcanic hazards, participants learn the interrelationship of scientists, governing officials, and the news media during volcanic crises.
The course is not geared towards academics, but rather, addresses working in a crisis response mode, focusing on forecasting and rapid response to save lives and property. Since 1990, the program has trained over 250 scientists and technicians, from 30 countries.
CSAV was established by the Hawai’i State Legislature in 1989 and is a collaborative program among HIGP, the UH Hilo Department of Geology, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the UH Mānoa Department of Earth Sciences.
Earth scientists share expertise in international volcanology training course
July 2, 2019 by Marcie Grabowski
As Hawaii strives toward 100% renewable energy, geothermal represents the cheapest and most reliable baseload energy source. This week on Research in Manoa, Dr. Nicole Lautze joins Pete Mouginis-Marrk to discuss why geothermal energy is a viable energy resource for Hawaii, what is the relative cost, and where could we look?
As the keynote speaker, our Director Nicole Lautze encouraged girls in grades 6 to 9 to pursue STEM fields at AAUW Honolulu’s Tech Savvy Conference (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). A successful female scientist, Nicole shared her STEM journey and gave words of wisdom to the 80+ girls at the conference.
The Tech Savvy conference was a day-long conference to encourage young ladies to pursue STEM fields. This year’s conference took place at the Hawaii Loa Campus of Hawaii Pacific University in Kaneohe on April 21, 2018.
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The WSSPC Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes leaders in earthquake risk reduction. Throughout their careers, the recipients demonstrated an extraordinary commitment, level of service, and application of earthquake risk reduction to public policy.
His biography by WSSPC:
Donald Thomas, Ph.D., is the Director of the University of Hawaii (UH) at Hilo’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) as well as a long-standing member of the Hawaii Earthquake and Tsunami Advisory Committee (HETAC). For many years, Dr. Thomas has been doing the work necessary to keep people and the government fully educated and engaged – from scientific inquiry and research, to training and outreach, to undergraduate education – in hazards, mitigation, and monitoring of seismic activity. His dedication to the work has changed the way responders, builders, scientists, policy makers and the general public view, prepare for and respond to earthquakes.
A noteworthy example of his tireless efforts to promote hazard mitigation and awareness in Hawaii is making home earthquake retrofits accessible to homeowners. Don and his students took the detailed and complex designs for retrofitting post-and-pier foundations of homes damaged in the Kiholo Bay earthquake in 2006 and developed an online expert system that walked the homeowner step-by-step through the retrofit selection process. Based on identifying key elements of construction types, the expert system would determine the appropriate retrofit system, output construction drawings that homeowners or contractors could use to implement the retrofit, and provide a shopping list of hardware required to install the retrofit.
The Western States Seismic Policy Council is the primary regional organization representing the western states, Pacific provinces, and territories supporting policies of the earthquake and tsunami programs that will reduce losses from earthquakes and their effects.
April 7, 2017 Army taps consortium to find water for training area high up Hawaiian volcano Public Works Digest via Defense Video Imagery Distribution System | news article
“Dr. Donald Thomas has been a frequent visitor to the high plateau saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. The geochemist … likes to drill holes into the mountain. … [The research] documented for the first time two significant aquifers amid a generally porous geologic zone. One was a perched groundwater pocket … The team also found a second aquifer, deeper down, that was huge and hot — 280 degrees F. … Thomas is now looking for ways, through CESU, to help the installation document the extent, quality and availability of the perched aquifer as a potable water source.”
Advances in Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Resources: Where Are We? ThinkTech Hawaii | video
How far along is Hawaii in terms of its renewable energy goals? Which renewable generation sources have been the most effective thus far? The Hawai‘i State Energy Office’s Renewable Energy Branch Chief, Veronica Rocha, and Donald Thomas of the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes address these questions.
Geothermal Power Kohala Radio, KNKR 96.1 | radio
Geothermal energy was the topic on the show Eco Talk, aired on Kohala radio KNKR 96.1, with the show’s host Holly Algood and Dr. Nicole Lautze as a guest.
“Unexpectedly high water in the Humuula saddle region, between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, prompted a University of Hawaii researcher to seek a new site for additional tests.
Donald Thomas, director of the university’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, in 2012, received permission to drill two bore holes to collect core samples. While drilling the first sample, Thomas said, scientists got some interesting preliminary results.
“We found water that was at a higher elevation than expected,” Thomas said.
They found the first thin band of water about 500 feet below the surface. A thicker band was present at about 700 feet, and a regional water table was at 1,800 feet, Thomas said.
“That’s considerable shallower than we anticipated,” he added.
Because of those preliminary findings, Thomas decided to seek a new site, about seven miles from the original one, to check to see how widespread that water table is. … Click for more”