Learn About Volcanoes

Get general information about volcanoes, why they erupt, and what volcanologists do.

How Volcanoes Work - SDSU Website

Get more detailed information about volcanic activity around the world.

Global Volcanism Program - Smithsonian Website

 

Services PDF Print E-mail
As a Consulting Volcanologist, I offer a variety professional services in the field of volcanology. I pride myself in the provision of honest advise and services, so that clients needing accurate information about volcanoes and volcanism will know what to do and how, whether they are planning a multi-million dollar investment in a power plant or a film, or needing authoritative advice on a legal matter. I work independently or with a talented group of colleagues with whom I have formed a company, Geohazards Consultants International, Inc., for larger projects.

Hawaiian Volcanology
Hazard Appraisal
Legal Testimony
Media Projects
International Assignments

Hawaiian Volcanology

My home is on a ridge above the rainforest town of Volcano, Hawaii, with a splendid view of Mauna Loa's infrequent eruptions and within hearing range of Kilauea's roaring lava fountains. My consulting services are available to those needing information about Hawaiian volcanism, and I provide hazards appraisals, legal testimony, and consulting services for media projects in Hawaii.

Hazards Appraisals

"History is the Best Guide to the Future" --- both in the affairs of men and also in the doings of volcanoes. The most essential ingredient of volcanic hazards appraisals is thus the understanding the past histories of active or potentially active volcanoes. Determination of volcanic history is sometimes easy -- in populated areas like Sicily for example, where written records of Etna's activity extends back over three millenia. Unfortunately, few of the Earth's more than 1,500 potentially active volcanoes have long historical records,, so volcanologists must look for clues recorded in the prehistoric lava flows and ash deposits from past eruptions.
Over the past 20 years my volcano-teachers have revealed many techniques for deciphering their past histories. My human clients have little interest in details of volcano history, however, but do need quantitative information about the future and how the future could affect their investments or plans. Provision of such statistical appraisals of future eruption probabilities, based on evaluations of past activity, is one of my two most important volcanic hazards "products"; the other is provision of means to reduce volcanic risk.
Decisions to proceed with developments are at times already made or facilities with vulnerable populations already exist by the time my services have been requested. In these cases I can recommend means to reduce volcanic risk, through education, modifications to buildings, or in some cases by construction of protective structures to protect vital sites from lava flows or lahars (volcanic mudflows). {thumbnail photo of lava diversion barriers - 2B provided}.

Legal Testimony

I will not "take sides" in litigation, but by provision of factual information about volcanic activity, volcanic hazards, and the influence of volcanic structures on property litigant rights, I can assist clients to defend their points of view in legal cases. My experience and technical background is difficult to challenge in court.

Media Projects

I have considerable experience as a technical advisor to media projects in film, video, and print, and can provide on-camera interviews about volcanological subjects. My consulting work for the Universal Pictures film "Dante's Peak" was particularly enjoyable; this is the most realistic, believable, "volcano adventure film" ever - and has been widely used to depict (studio-created) volcanic hazards - especially pyroclastic flows and lahars!

International Assignments

Although I am personally available for international consulting assignments, most such work is of sufficient scope to require a team approach for best results. A new company, Geohazards Consultants International, Inc., has been formed specifically to address the needs of clients requiring hazards assessments of properties in remote or less developed areas.