The University of Cincinnati offered a special course on volcanoes during September. A group of 14 students and faculty made to the trip which included high-altitude climbs to the top of Mauna Kea and trekked along the beaches to watch steaming lava pour into the Pacific Ocean.
Two UC photographers, Lisa Ventre and Colleen Kelley documented the trip on film and video. Here is a sample of the action they captured.
One of the most spectacular sights on the trip was watching the red-hot lava flow into the ocean.
Capturing the action can be dangerous, but photographers Lisa Ventre and Colleen Kelley had expert assistance.
UC geology professor Attila Kilinc and Don Swanson of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory taught them how to record the lava flows without getting burned.
Video clip of lava flowing into the sea before dawn.
Excitement Each and Every Day
Lava cools fairly quickly and often forms tubes which allow the lava to travel underneath the ground. Later, the tubes solidify and cool down enough to allow scientists and tourists to explore them. Professor Kilinc is seen here celebrating the discovery of one such tube on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Video clip of active lava flow from Kilauea.
A Lesson in Sampling Safety
The UC course was the first time students were able to study active volcanoes and see the different types of lava flows that result.
One of the major course objectives was teaching students how to take samples properly. That means knowing where to sample, what to sample and how to stay out of trouble. So, trip leader Professor Attila Kilinc demonstrated the proper techniques first. Find out what it's like to walk over rocks hot enough to melt the soles off your shoes.
Video clip of Professor Kilinc collecting hot lava.
Real World Learning
The University of Cincinnati department of geology is one of many UC academic programs that sends students and faculty around the world for real world lessons. Department head Attila Kilinc explains why the experience is so invaluable to our students.
Video clip of Professor Kilinc explaining the course philosophy.