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January 13, 2014
  • Save Lives – Support Volcano Training

Robert W. Decker Memorial Endowment

CSAV, on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, is a training and outreach program founded by Robert W. Decker. CSAV’s mission is to provide information on volcanic and natural hazards that occur in Hawai‘i and worldwide.

Hawai‘i’s unique natural laboratory

Active volcanoes in Hawai‘i have provided researchers with a phenomenal natural laboratory. These volcanoes provide some of the most stable conditions for scientists to do long-term observations and monitoring of eruptions, as well as participate in the development of state-of-the art technologies for monitoring volcanic hazards.

Awe-inspiring and majestic, volcanoes are also monumental forces for destruction.

The Robert W. Decker Memorial Endowment provides funding for scientists from developing countries with active volcanoes to attend Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) at UH Hilo International programs. The programs provide an important opportunity to share knowledge gained from studying volcanoes in Hawai‘i, and train scientists and technicians to monitor and plan for dangerous volcanic events. This training helps save lives.

About Dr. Decker

“Research on how volcanoes work and how to monitor their changing habits has made some major advances during the past 30 years … Now it is time to apply that knowledge toward reducing the risk from volcanic activity in other parts of the world.”

—Dr. Robert Decker, 1990

During his tenure as Scientist-in-Charge at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), Dr. Robert Decker became aware of staff and scientists’, from volcano observatories in developing nations, urgent need for training in modern techniques of volcano hazards monitoring.

Decker undertook a pilot program in which HVO and University of Hawai‘i scientists provided field and laboratory training in state-of-the-art technology for monitoring active volcanic systems. The success of this early effort inspired Decker to formally propose the establishment of the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV). Thanks to his efforts, CSAV has been operating since 1989, and is a cooperative program of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Volcano training protects communities across the globe

CSAV training saves lives

To date, CSAV has trained more than 100 scientists and technicians from 23 countries with support from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Disaster Assistance Program and a Cooperative Research and Training Agreement that has been established with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Among many successes of the program, CSAV-trained scientists from Papua New Guinea and the Philippines participated in monitoring and evacuation during eruptions at Rabaul and Mount Pinatubo in the early 1990s. Their efforts helped save many lives.

Read more about the International Training program and see photos.

Your gift helps save lives around the world by making it possible for scientists and technicians from developing countries with active volcanoes to attend CSAV International programs and get critical training to help communities survive life-threatening volcanic events.

Help scientists learn more about volcanoes

If you have any questions about CSAV or would like to learn how you can support the students and programs at UH Hilo, please contact Darcy Bevens at [email protected].

Write to:
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
200 West Kawili Street
Hilo, HI 96720

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.