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CSAV introduces new internship program

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Date: Friday, October 1, 2004
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Sean O'Neill with GPS unit.

The Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo introduced a new student internship program this past summer which allows qualified UH Hilo Geology majors the opportunity to work at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) on research projects. Two UH Hilo Geology majors participated in the program in 2004: Steve Clegg and Sean O’Neill.

Clegg worked with HVO’s geochemical monitoring program under the direction of Dr. Marie Edmonds. Edmonds has been using OP-FTIR (Open-Path Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) to analyze the composition of volcanic gas. Edmonds is using the technique to collect data once a minute during daylight hours. Since geophysical data is also collected that frequently, the data can be correlated on the same scale. What makes the OP-FTIR unique is its ability to detect and measure several different components of volcanic gas (typically water, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide) simultaneously.

O’Neill worked with the Mauna Loa team, headed by Frank Trusdell. O’Neill enjoyed working on a variety of projects, including mapping explosive debris fans around the summit caldera. O’Neill also led a precise survey of Mokuaweoweo. For this mapping project, the elevations across nearly the entire caldera were determined using a Total Field Station. In the event of a future summit eruption, this detailed information will be invaluable in calculating the volume of new flows within the caldera.

Students interested in an internship for 2005 are encouraged to apply. The application process is open to all UH Hilo students with a declared major in Geology. Geology students are eligible to receive an internship only after completing at least 11 semester hours of Geology courses. Selection of students for an internship is based on a variety of criteria, including the students’ performance in class as well as their level of maturity and interest in pursuing a career in geology and volcanology.

Students must provide a letter of application that describes the career goals of the student, how the internship will contribute to the student's career objectives, specific capabilities of the student and their ideal internship assignment (e.g. seismic interpretation, GIS mapping, geodesy, etc.), a transcript of prior course work in earth sciences, and the names of at least two references that can be contacted by the review committee. Applications should be submitted during the fall semester.

For more information, contact Don Thomas, CSAV director, at 974-7398 or Darcy Bevens at the CSAV office, 974-7631.

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