Helping predict volcanic eruptions, high school curriculum leads at UH Mānoa

Kimberly Martin

Inasmuch as Oʻahu high school student with a lifelong passion for science, Kimberly Martin was perfect for the Earth-Planets-ʻIke-Kuleana (EPʻIK) Summer program at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. EPʻIK provides opportunities for secondary school students in Hawaii to become familiar with the sciences of the Earth and the planets in view of a successful university experience.

Martin has wanted to be a scientist for as long as she can remember and developed an interest in earth and ocean science while in college. During her freshman year of high school, she attended an open house at uh Manoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), learned the Earth Science study programs for undergraduate students and met professor Bridget Smith Konterwho will later welcome Martin in the summer of 2020 EPʻIK program.

“I discovered so many research possibilities here at uh and I was really interested in participating in that,” said Martin, who is now an honors student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in uh Mānoa Department of Earth Sciences. “Not only do I love earth science, but ocean science as well. Being at a university that does exciting research in both fields means I have the opportunity to be a part of it while I’m a student. undergraduate.

Improving predictions of volcanic eruptions

Martin works with Smith-Konter on the program ERTH Undergraduate Research Opportunity Cohort and learn how to create maps that show how the earth’s crust deformed during the Kīlauea volcanic eruption in 2018. In a next step, Martin and Smith-Konter will rely on near real-time satellite data so that the maps they make show the current progression of the deformation. Such maps could be used as a way to inform the community about seismic and volcanic hazards in near real time.

“I find all of this work fascinating,” Martin said. “A particularly interesting thing is learning the coding language. I have never had any experience in this area before, so everything is very new and quite challenging. The first time I succeeded, I was so proud of myself!

Martin plans to graduate in the spring of 2025. Over the next few years, she is open to various research experiences in hopes of determining what field to pursue in graduate school.

This work is an example of uh Mānoa’s goal of Improve student success (PDF) and Research Excellence: Advancing the Enterprise of Research and Creative Work (PDF), two of the four objectives identified in the Strategic Plan 2015-2025 (PDF), updated December 2020.

For more information, see SOESTthe website of.