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2019 Communicating Geohazards: Delivering Information in Crisis and Calm

Photo: Sarah Conway, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Course Details

Dates: Sunday October 6, 2019 - Tuesday October 8, 2019

Sunday, October 6, 2019 5pm - 7pm
Monday, October 7, 2019 8am - 5pm & 7-8:30pm
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 8am - 12pm

Location: Cramer Hall, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon & the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, Vancouver, Washington

Instructors: Beth Bartel, UNAVCO; Wendy Bohon, IRIS; Wendy Stovall, USGS Volcano Hazards Program; Michael Poland, USGS Volcano Hazards Program; Lauren Frank, Portland State University

Who Is This Course For?

This course is open to all current graduate students in geoscience and journalism, as well as early career journalists. No previous experience in communicating about geohazards is required.

Course Description

Communicating hazards is critical for public safety and understanding. This two-day short course with three remote follow-on sessions will cover responsible communication of geohazards, with a focus on earthquakes and volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest.

You will:

  • build a cross-career path cohort;
  • discuss the ethics, best practices, and potential positive and negative impacts of communicating about geohazards;
  • put what you learn into practice; and
  • have the opportunity to interact with professional communicators from the GAGE and SAGE geophysical facilities, USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, and regional journalism outlets, all with a focus on Cascadia.

Course Components:

  • Two-day in-person short course (spanning three days) including a half-day field trip to the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory
  • Three remote follow-on sessions
  • A small project to be completed independently


All expenses during the short course, including meals and field trip costs, are covered for all participants. Double-occupancy lodging is available for a limited number of participants. Participants will receive a $150 stipend upon program completion.

The course is made possible by funding from the American Geophysical Union with an AGU Celebrate 100 Grant.


Open to geoscience graduate students and journalism students and practicing journalists. The application portal is closed.


Please direct questions to: Beth Bartel,


Last modified: 2020-04-27  10:23:46  America/Denver