Emerging tech as STEM platforms in problem-based learning (Kīlauea)

Video Transcript
Download Video
Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geophysicist Jefferson Chang talks about technologies that track activity at Hawaiian volcanoes and how crowdsourcing and citizen science can contribute to a greater understanding of hazards, in this presentation to the 2020 SACNAS Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos & Native Americans in Science virtual conference held October 19-24, 2020 (https://www.2020sacnas.org). During Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption, Jefferson met with a group of students from the Teaching Through Technology (T3) Alliance, a University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Upward Bound program. The students created sulfur dioxide sensors and placed them in communal areas in Pāhoa to measure the particulate and sulfur concentrations in the air. The students broadcast data to the internet so people could monitor local changes in real-time. These air quality sensors were very helpful during the eruption, and can be used in many other communities to measure air quality changes brought on, for example, forest fires. Jefferson also talks about HVO’s monitoring of Hawaiian volcanoes, and how the community can set up a small, personal seismometer called Raspberry Shake, that will contribute data to a globally crowd-sourced earthquake monitoring network.
 

Details

Date Taken:

Length: 00:18:58

Location Taken: Hilo, HI, US

Video Credits

This presentation was made during the SACNAS Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos & Native Americans in Science virtual conference held October 19-24, 2020 (https://www.2020sacnas.org).
 

Transcript

Jefferson C. Chang:    Hello SACNASters, My name is Jefferson Chang.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Today, I'll be talking about using technology to address problems

Jefferson C. Chang:    and how that engages the local community.

Jefferson C. Chang:    But before I do that, I just wanted to thank Dr. Molly Yunker.

Jefferson C. Chang:    She and I co-developed project BLOSSM,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which I'll be talking about later in the presentation.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Also I want to thank the University of Hawaii at

Jefferson C. Chang:    Hilo Upward Bound program who I have collaborated with for the past couple of years.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I'm also going to be showing a lot of our work that's been done through them.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So let's get started.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I'm a geoscientist and this is a geologic map of the world.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is basically how geologists see the world,

Jefferson C. Chang:    as a giant puzzle,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is what I love about it.

Jefferson C. Chang:    You look at observations,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and you put together a story of how the Earth has warped through time.

Jefferson C. Chang:    What do we see here?

Jefferson C. Chang:    What is happening in the earth?

Jefferson C. Chang:    Which is odd since I grew up in Hawaii,

Jefferson C. Chang:    islands out in the middle of nowhere, in the Pacific,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and there's really no representation of the science or

Jefferson C. Chang:    the field or the profession for that matter.

Jefferson C. Chang:    In Hawaii, we only have one kind of rock,

Jefferson C. Chang:    so I didn't really know that I was going to get into geology

Jefferson C. Chang:    until much later in my education.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I did my undergrad at Arizona and not this kind of Arizona,

Jefferson C. Chang:    further up North, closer to the Grand Canyon.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is where I fell in love with geology,

Jefferson C. Chang:    where you see all these outcrops of rocks just going through different phases of history,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and I just fell in love with it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the whole process of it.

Jefferson C. Chang:    From there I did my Master's at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is where I learned that geology can be a lucrative career.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Then from there I did my doctorate at the University of Oklahoma.

Jefferson C. Chang:    While I was doing my doctorate,

Jefferson C. Chang:    I worked for the State Survey,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and I was in charge of the earthquake monitoring for

Jefferson C. Chang:    the entire state at a time when earthquakes were a pretty big deal in Oklahoma,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and not just in Oklahoma but the entire US.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is where all the fracking and the wastewater injection

Jefferson C. Chang:    was basically at its height and shaking up a lot of the people in Oklahoma.

Jefferson C. Chang:    As part of my job,

Jefferson C. Chang:    I had to deal with the public,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and I learned that if you don't educate the public on what is going on with the sciences,

Jefferson C. Chang:    they will completely ignore what you're trying to say.

Jefferson C. Chang:    There's no conversation whatsoever.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So I got deeply involved in outreach,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and a natural growth

Jefferson C. Chang:    from there is I got involved in building capacity in the local community,

Jefferson C. Chang:    local native population, which is abundant in Oklahoma.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Then it hit me at some point during that, that

Jefferson C. Chang:    hey, instead of being here dodging tornadoes,

Jefferson C. Chang:    I could be back home on a beach doing the same thing,

Jefferson C. Chang:    being a representative for students that

Jefferson C. Chang:    might be coming up and didn't know that this was a possible career.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So luckily in 2018,

Jefferson C. Chang:    a job opened up at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I interviewed and somehow they thought I was qualified enough,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and they offered me the position. I accepted.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The day that they actually announced my acceptance,

Jefferson C. Chang:    Kilauea started to party that afternoon.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is a shot of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is actually where our story begins.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The story begins on the big island or the island of Hawaii.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The Kilauea volcano is located here,

Jefferson C. Chang:    approximately in the red bounds.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The red bound square is also depicted here in that three-dimensional diagram.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Just as a summation,

Jefferson C. Chang:    what happened here is that Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō began to withdraw magma,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is lava that's just buried underneath,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and also it started flowing down the rift.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Soon after that, a couple of days later,

Jefferson C. Chang:    Halema'uma'u crater at the summit right here and right here,

Jefferson C. Chang:    started withdrawing magma as well.

Jefferson C. Chang:    From there eventually it accumulated and started spouting out in

Jefferson C. Chang:    fissures where the population lived in the lower East Rift Zone.

Jefferson C. Chang:    But the real success of this is,

Jefferson C. Chang:    we knew that the magma was moving from seismology,

Jefferson C. Chang:    from what I study, earthquakes, because when the magma moves,

Jefferson C. Chang:    it disturbs the rock,

Jefferson C. Chang:    like how water disturbs or inflates a fire hose whenever you turn on the faucet,

Jefferson C. Chang:    that hose pops up.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The same thing with here,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the magma chamber will pop up and disturb the rock around it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    stressing it, causing it to fail in what we know as earthquakes.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So we track the earthquakes moving down.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Within hours, it just kept going and going towards the populated areas,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and from there it was a success story that

Jefferson C. Chang:    the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a warning.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The county then evacuated people and no lives were lost.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Unfortunately, some property were lost due to the eruption,

Jefferson C. Chang:    but all in all it was good

Jefferson C. Chang:    that we didn't lose any lives or have any injuries due to this.

Jefferson C. Chang:    But that's the science that needs to

Jefferson C. Chang:    take a back seat because I wanted to take a look at the technology.

Jefferson C. Chang:    We know that the earthquakes migrated down because we have a whole bunch of sensors,

Jefferson C. Chang:    earthquake monitoring sensors depicted here in the map shown as black triangles.

Jefferson C. Chang:    What these sensors look like, they're pretty big,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and they're pretty expensive.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is CJ here for scale,

Jefferson C. Chang:    solar panels in the back,

Jefferson C. Chang:    this is a big equipment box,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and the equipment is offsite,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and these are tens of thousands of dollars of equipment going in, being installed.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Takes a long time to install and takes a lot of work.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is an equipment box down here,

Jefferson C. Chang:    a lot of cables,

Jefferson C. Chang:    connections going in and out,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and it's pretty complicated to set up.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So it costs a lot,

Jefferson C. Chang:    complicated to install, and it takes a lot of time.

Jefferson C. Chang:    What emerging technology lets us do is

Jefferson C. Chang:    take all of this and boil it down to something more accessible.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is a Raspberry Shake unit.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It's basically a seismic station in a small tiny box. Looks like one of these.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I'll be talking more about technology a little bit later,

Jefferson C. Chang:    but just know that both of these do almost the exact same thing.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It lets you monitor vibrations in the ground.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The only difference is the image on the left,

Jefferson C. Chang:    this research grade professional equipment,

Jefferson C. Chang:    is more akin to like the sound system in a movie theater,

Jefferson C. Chang:    where it's big, and you feel every base hit,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you listen to every treble,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you pick up all the signals that you have.

Jefferson C. Chang:    What we have on the right,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the more hobbyist grade stuff,

Jefferson C. Chang:    is that more akin to earphones.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Is it going to pick up all the deep bases that you are going to get or

Jefferson C. Chang:    the high pitch treble that you need?

Jefferson C. Chang:    No. But can you make phone calls from a headphone or listen to your favorite movie?

Jefferson C. Chang:    Absolutely. So about 95 percent of the time,

Jefferson C. Chang:    this is going to be good enough for

Jefferson C. Chang:    a normal everyday activities or what you want to do with it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is detect earthquakes.

Jefferson C. Chang:    What the emerging technology lets us do is,

Jefferson C. Chang:    it lets normal people who don't have the background in seismology or the

Jefferson C. Chang:    tens of thousands of dollars or the expertise to do what we do or mimic what we do,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and this is actually in place through a lot of the world.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I just want to put

Jefferson C. Chang:    out that this is what we are going to be talking about in the BLOSSM project later on.

Jefferson C. Chang:    How does this work?

Jefferson C. Chang:    What makes it work? This big green box here is a Raspberry Pi.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It's right here. It's a size of a credit card.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It's an inexpensive computer.

Jefferson C. Chang:    A really powerful computer,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the magic of it is these little pins called GPIOs,

Jefferson C. Chang:    general-purpose input/output, which is a fancy term meaning it can read

Jefferson C. Chang:    voltage coming in from sensors and it can output voltage going out to displays.

Jefferson C. Chang:    If you want to think about it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    a simple one would be like a thermometer,

Jefferson C. Chang:    if the temperature drops too low or it goes too high,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the thermostat kicks in and says, "Hey,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you need to warm up or you need to get

Jefferson C. Chang:    cooler," depending on the setting that you have it.

Jefferson C. Chang:    But that's a simple version and the Raspberry Pi, is more complex.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It has a built-in computer.

Jefferson C. Chang:    You can actually program it to say, "Hey,

Jefferson C. Chang:    after reading this signal,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you can output this signal."

Jefferson C. Chang:    I met up with the T3 alliance,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is an Upper Bound program here at

Jefferson C. Chang:    the University of Hawaii at Hilo during the eruption,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and they were teaching high school students how to work with this,

Jefferson C. Chang:    do a lot of STEM-related activities,

Jefferson C. Chang:    mainly focus on the technology.

Jefferson C. Chang:    They were hooking up cameras, the sound sensors,

Jefferson C. Chang:    displays and I met them and they asked me,

Jefferson C. Chang:    what could we use all this tech for?

Jefferson C. Chang:    So they had basically the knowledge and the equipment to do stuff.

Jefferson C. Chang:    They just needed a problem to apply it.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Well, low and behold, we were in the middle of an eruption,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and when you're in an eruption,

Jefferson C. Chang:    not only the lava comes out of the fissure in this case,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you also get a lot of gases that come out,

Jefferson C. Chang:    four gases, you get steam,

Jefferson C. Chang:    get carbon dioxide, and two more that are pretty bad,

Jefferson C. Chang:    sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Those two, the sulfide gases,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the sulfuric gases, are pretty corrosive.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Not far off from this picture on the bottom to the right,

Jefferson C. Chang:    a few 100 meters,

Jefferson C. Chang:    there was a house that was unfortunately lost due to a fissure eruption next to it.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The picture on top is presumably where the kitchen was,

Jefferson C. Chang:    where all of these utensils were located.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It's hard to imagine that just within a few weeks of this photo being taken,

Jefferson C. Chang:    these silverware were being used and clean and nice and shiny,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and right now they're just deteriorated, they're corroded.

Jefferson C. Chang:    That's how bad these sulfuric gases are, they just corrode.

Jefferson C. Chang:    We, actually on the bottom here,

Jefferson C. Chang:    if you're standing that close,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you have to wear personal protective equipment or PPE, a gas mask,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and you can only be there for a few minutes because

Jefferson C. Chang:    the protection won't last very long due to a high concentration of sulfur,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and this is very toxic and gas is very mobile.

Jefferson C. Chang:    What the students did, what the TE Alliance did,

Jefferson C. Chang:    was they took what they knew.

Jefferson C. Chang:    They took a Raspberry Pi,

Jefferson C. Chang:    attach a particulate sensor and an SO2 or sulfur dioxide sensor on it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    to measure the particulate and the sulfur in the air,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and programmed the display to show, green,

Jefferson C. Chang:    yellow, orange, or red,

Jefferson C. Chang:    depending on the levels of the toxic chemicals in the air was.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Because as the wind shifts,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the gases could shift as well.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So they put this out in communal hubs such as the the communal refuge in Pāhoa.

Jefferson C. Chang:    A couple of schools,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and also they put them next to

Jefferson C. Chang:    a research grade gas monitoring segment in

Jefferson C. Chang:    Hilo just to make sure they had to have their levels correct.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Those had their data broadcasting to the Internet.

Jefferson C. Chang:    They had their own website,

Jefferson C. Chang:    they also plugged it into PurpleAir so

Jefferson C. Chang:    that people can monitor in real time what's going on in these areas.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I think for the Pāhoa campsite,

Jefferson C. Chang:    they actually put up a big TV that shows the different colors and the particulate,

Jefferson C. Chang:    so that if at any point the wind shifted direction,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you can actually see it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    that, maybe it went from green,

Jefferson C. Chang:    going to orange and you don't want to be there when it turns to red."

Jefferson C. Chang:    Now, is this a professional's diagnostic machine?

Jefferson C. Chang:    No, but its actually, like I said before,

Jefferson C. Chang:    it's 95 percent good enough that,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you might want to pay attention to this stuff.

Jefferson C. Chang:    They actually use the technology that they're

Jefferson C. Chang:    working with to apply to a problem dealing with

Jefferson C. Chang:    toxic gases or corrosive gases and helping

Jefferson C. Chang:    the community decide to save lives, whether they should move or not,

Jefferson C. Chang:    whether it's safe to stay in the area.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It's a pretty big win for everybody involved,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the students and the community as well.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The eruption ended. And going back to the BLOSSM project,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is Bridging Local Outreach in Seismic Signal Monitoring.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This little Raspberry Shake unit has actually the same thing.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It has a Raspberry Pi and small computer there, a sensor here.

Jefferson C. Chang:    It goes up and down and some accelerometers for monitoring motion.

Jefferson C. Chang:    All you have to do to it is,

Jefferson C. Chang:    plug it into the Internet and provide power.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The software that runs in it just asks you,

Jefferson C. Chang:    where you are in the world so we know where the vibration is being detected

Jefferson C. Chang:    and it spits out real data and in about five to ten minutes you're up and going.

Jefferson C. Chang:    You have your own little seismic stations.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The stimulus you get here is basically almost,

Jefferson C. Chang:    that you can't tell the difference

Jefferson C. Chang:    between this type of station and a professional grade system,

Jefferson C. Chang:    only if you peak real close enough or you really scrutinize the data,

Jefferson C. Chang:    but you really can't tell the difference.

Jefferson C. Chang:    These are real data. I know a couple of seismic networks,

Jefferson C. Chang:    regional seismic networks in

Jefferson C. Chang:    the continental US that use this to locate actual earthquakes

Jefferson C. Chang:    for their states, and it works.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So that's what we wanted to use here at BLOSSM.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Is we're going to deploy,

Jefferson C. Chang:    about 16 of these going out to the State of Hawaii,

Jefferson C. Chang:    mainly in the Big Island because that's where most of the seismicity is,

Jefferson C. Chang:    or we're going to put them in communal hubs like schools, libraries, museums.

Jefferson C. Chang:    With one station you get this view or you get a few data coming in but a lot.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This is a 24-hour view of something that one station might see.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So each little triangular blip here that you see is an earthquake.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This how much we get in a normal 24-hour period.

Jefferson C. Chang:    But if you have a bunch of these combined with

Jefferson C. Chang:    other freely available data that our network puts out,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you can turn it into an earthquake locating system,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is what we use another Raspberry Pi for,

Jefferson C. Chang:    because that takes up a lot of resources that,

Jefferson C. Chang:    computing-wise, generate the data and what not,

Jefferson C. Chang:    and also just to locate earthquakes.

Jefferson C. Chang:    These, combined with the seismic stations,

Jefferson C. Chang:    you pretty much get the whole package of wherever you put this,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the communities' going to know where the earthquakes are, how big they are,

Jefferson C. Chang:    there is a magnitude 1.9 that happened at the southern part of the Big Island.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Anybody can just look at it and say, "Okay,

Jefferson C. Chang:    there's an earthquake there," they can time it

Jefferson C. Chang:    themselves whether a lot of it's happening

Jefferson C. Chang:    during magma movement, you can get

Jefferson C. Chang:    dozens to hundreds or thousands of these happening per day and

Jefferson C. Chang:    just watching the magma progress as it moves either towards or

Jefferson C. Chang:    away from the community and you can be more informed.

Jefferson C. Chang:    We actually deploy this project,

Jefferson C. Chang:    partially this summer in the University of Hawaii

Jefferson C. Chang:    Upward Bound program Stimulate program where we were

Jefferson C. Chang:    just getting the feel of it since COVID just hit and we're all under quarantine.

Jefferson C. Chang:    We actually had students,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the original plan was,

Jefferson C. Chang:    all the students we're here on the Big Island and we'd all meet and do field trips.

Jefferson C. Chang:    But all that changed and there was a group in Northern California,

Jefferson C. Chang:    one based in Hawaii and one in Guam and they all worked different projects.

Jefferson C. Chang:    The good thing about this is,

Jefferson C. Chang:    it has a lot of open ends, all these little hooks.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Some students took just early path and say,

Jefferson C. Chang:    "Okay, we want to just broadcast raw data."

Jefferson C. Chang:    Had people tie into that had them watching it,

Jefferson C. Chang:    live streaming in some app they created.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Then some of them took the other end of it where,

Jefferson C. Chang:    "we can build an app to send notifications out to peoples'

Jefferson C. Chang:    phones," whether it's a magnitude three plus or four plus whatever setting it was.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Then it grew from there.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Being a student led to engage the community,

Jefferson C. Chang:    which is what we want.

Jefferson C. Chang:    They put out some surveys and some metrics and what not.

Jefferson C. Chang:    This has just started this year and we're hoping to get more of these out.

Jefferson C. Chang:    I have sent about a few of them out to the local schools and want

Jefferson C. Chang:    to get more of them out and see what we come up with there.

Jefferson C. Chang:    For schools-wise, you can also use, this doesn't just detect earthquakes,

Jefferson C. Chang:    it literally just detect vibrations.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So you can use it for classes.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Let's say you want to do some physics exercises

Jefferson C. Chang:    where mass equals energy through some convergent.

Jefferson C. Chang:    You can drop a ping-pong ball from a height versus a bowling ball from the same height.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Because of the difference in mass,

Jefferson C. Chang:    one's going to have an higher amplitude or a bigger wiggle than the ping-pong ball.

Jefferson C. Chang:    You can use this and work with it in your classroom as well.

Jefferson C. Chang:    When you're off during the night,

Jefferson C. Chang:    weekends or during breaks,

Jefferson C. Chang:    regional seismic networks can use

Jefferson C. Chang:    the real data to locate earthquakes where they'd never had a station before.

Jefferson C. Chang:    So it's a win-win for everybody,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the community, the students,

Jefferson C. Chang:    the seismic network that puts it out.

Jefferson C. Chang:    That's just what I wanted to talk about and I look forward to your questions.

Jefferson C. Chang:    Thank you. If you have any questions,

Jefferson C. Chang:    just email me. My email is right there. Mahalo!