Thursday, August 11, 2022

Volcano Watch: HVO Geologist Receives Honorary Award

HVO geologist Frank Trusdale collects a sample of lava from the Fissure 8 channel during the Lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea volcano in July 2018 (A. Hara). Inset photo shows Trousdale presenting an update on Mauna Loa for the West Hawaii Community Forum in February 2018 (Laura Ruminsky/West Hawaii Today).

(bivn) – this week’s volcano clock The article, authored by scientists and collaborators from the US Geological Survey Hawaii Volcano Observatory, details the highly honorary award that was recently awarded to research geologist Frank Trousdale.

From the article:

Trusdale, a research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO), recently received a Meritorious Service Award, the second highest honorary award that can be given to a career employee by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The award is in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the USGS in the field of volcanology, in particular the understanding of Hawaiian volcanoes, their eruptions and hazards.

During his decades with HVO, Trousdale’s work has included a wide range of field-based studies and the production of detailed geologic maps of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world. To date he has completed four of the five maps, each covering an area of ​​Mauna Loa from its summit to sea level. These geologic maps, which provide information on the volcano’s long-term eruption behavior, are available on HVO’s Mauna Loa publication webpage under “Geologic Maps”.



Mauna Loa Talk Story with Frank Trousdale of USGS HVO (January 13, 2018)

Trousdale also led the effort to create and publish maps of the lava indentation zone for Mauna Loa. These nine maps, which identify the parts of the volcano that may erupt and send lava flows downstream, provide emergency managers with information that can help emergency managers to identify people, property and people at risk during a future Mauna Loa eruption. It will help to identify the features.

The award citation states that, “in addition to being the world’s authority on Mauna Loa, Mr. Trousdale’s careful investigation of eruption history and volcanic composition has also made him a leading expert on Kilauea and Hualalai volcanoes.” It further states that during periods of volcanic unrest in Hawaii, Trousdale’s “calm demeanor and decades of experience critically informed HVO hazard assessments shared with the public and emergency managers.”

In addition to his work in Hawaii, Trusdale has led USGS responses to volcanic crises in Ecuador, Alaska, the Cape Verde Islands and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands. His role in these responses was to evaluate and quantify volcanic hazards.

The quote also commends Trousdale for his dedication to the next generation of geologists, noting that “his efforts to engage students and early career scientists have strengthened USGS and the professional geologic community.” Throughout his federal service, Trousdale has visited over 50 students, scientists, and volunteers. Under his direction, these aspiring professionals were able to experience working in a busy volcano observatory, observing eruption hazards, connecting with HVO scientists, and in many cases, conducting full published studies.

Trousdale managed HVO’s 10-year volunteer program, during which she reviewed applicants (both domestic and international) and then guided selected volunteers as they learned about volcano monitoring. The award citation states that “the far-reaching effects of their dedication are reflected in the achievements of their dependents, many of whom have obtained advanced degrees and accepted positions with the USGS or universities.”

Trousdale, who grew up in Oahu, was also praised for her efforts to increase the participation of minority youth in the earth sciences. The citation acknowledges that this is particularly important in Hawaii, where the volcanic landscape and Hawaiian culture are inextricably linked.

Throughout his career, Trousdale has readily contributed to HVO’s outreach efforts. In addition to presenting countless talks at public events during Volcano Awareness Month, she has also participated in several community meetings to keep the public informed about eruptions during a volcanic crisis.

After graduating from Kamehameha High School, Trousdale earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaii in Hilo. He then attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he received a Master of Science degree from the Department of Geology and Geophysics in 1991.

Trousdale began his USGS career as a student trainee at HVO, coincidentally just one day after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington. More than forty years later, when asked about highlights from his time at HVO, he replied, “Working with great people; Mauna Loa (1984) and Kilauea (1982–2022), as well as Beyond Hawaii Monitoring eruptions on volcanoes; mapping the flanks of Mauna Loa’s submarine; and advising upcoming volcanoes.” Today, Trusdale shares his vast experience with HVO’s team of research and operational geologists as his supervisor, a role he accepted in 2020.

Congratulations, Frank! Your DOI Meritorious Service Award is well-deserved recognition for your many years of outstanding service to USGS and HVO.

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