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Earthwatch at 50: Hazel Rymer's story

Hazel Rymer is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Volcanology at the Open University. Her research investigates how active volcanoes affect their environment and impact Global Climate Change.

"I could not have carried out this research without Earthwatch. The long term support enabled me to develop close collaborations with local scientists and communities and to detect patterns in the data that simply would not be visible in short term studies. The methods developed through this work are now used routinely in many volcano observatories."

Hazel is Earthwatch Europe’s longest running Principle Investigator (PI) and has been leading expeditions through Earthwatch which engage members of the public in volcano monitoring since 1985. Volunteers use GPS sensors, gravity meters and spectrometers to monitor the ground movements, sub-surface magma flow and the escape of volcanic gas.

Whilst monitoring the Poás Volcano in Costa Rica, information from the citizen scientists helped the National Park officials restrict access to the crater during the 2009 degassing crisis. This also informed operational guidelines for monitoring degassing for Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

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