USGS volcanologists conduct volcanic crisis training in Chester, CA

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It isn't often that scientists and land managers spend two entire days together talking about volcanoes outside of an eruptive crisis, but a special FEMA training course allows them to do just that.

USGS volcanologist Jessica Ball leads a discussion during a FEMA Vo...

USGS volcanologist Jessica Ball leads a discussion during a FEMA Volcanic Crisis Awareness course held in Chester, CA in November 2017.

(Credit: Mangan, Margaret. Public domain.)

In mid-November, Margaret Mangan and Jessica Ball of CalVO, John Ewert of CVO and Jeff Rubin of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue led local emergency managers, fire responders, law enforcement officers, and National Park staff in a FEMA Volcanic Crisis Awareness training held in Chester, CA (near Lassen Volcanic National Park).


The course is designed to give a primer on volcanic hazards and how the USGS monitors volcanoes and communicates in a crisis, but also devotes ample time to a tabletop eruption scenario where emergency managers are led through a fictional volcanic crisis and discuss how they would respond to escalating volcanic activity. The two-day course addresses the scientific, communication, managerial, and psychological aspects of volcanic crises, and allows insight into the goals of different groups in responding to volcanic hazards. CalVO scientists will conduct a similar training at Lassen Volcanic National Park in January 2018.