March 22, 2019

Special Release: Hawaii’s Volcanoes, Water, and…Vog?

Posted by Shane Hanlon

Kate setting up equipment at her field site.

Hawaii is frequently described as a paradise in the Pacific Ocean, but for some scientists conducting field work, there can be some challenges to overcome. In this special episode, Kate Brauman, the lead scientist at the Global Water Initiative at the University of Minnesota, describes her field work experiences in Kona on the big island of Hawaii. Kate’s research into land use and its impact on the ground water supply required her to work in “extremely rocky muck,” fend off cattle, and try to protect sensitive equipment from corrosive “vog.”

Kate also details working in the fog belt on Hawaii, and how forest canopy vs. pasture land can affect the amount of water flowing through the soil. Through this research in Hawaii, as well as other areas across the globe, Kate recognizes and discusses the importance of water management solutions that take local values and needs into account.

This episode was produced by Katie Broendel, Shane M Hanlon, and Liza Lester and mixed by Adell Coleman.