About The Kaʻū Calendar

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs May 23, 2024

Kaʻū Coffee Festival Recipe Contest Seeks Entries
Kaʻū Coffee Mill'e festival recipe contest is taking entries. Call 808-928-0550 for the required registration to enter into the pupu, entre and dessert categories. Entries must include Kaʻū Coffee in the recipes and be at Kaʻū Coffee Mill at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1. No entry fees charged. Pre-registration required. The public is welcome to observe. Photo by Julia Neal
INFORMATION TECH IS CRITICAL IN SUPPORTING, MONITORING AND STUDYING one of the most active volcanic regions in the world at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, writes HVO IT Specialist Thomas-Jon Hoomanawanui in this week's Volcano Watch. The Observatory's mission includes research, providing scientific data to government agencies, and educating the public about volcanic hazards. Hoomananwaui describes the IT role at HVO as adapting to ever-changing demands of scientific efforts and evolving federal regulations. Hoomanawanui writes:
A USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory IT specialist at a data center is pictured
 imagining the benefits of programming code to the observation of volcanic phenomena. 
USGS image
   One of the primary duties of IT personnel at HVO is supporting existing and emerging volcano monitoring and science goals. The observatory uses a variety of instruments to collect data on volcanic activity—including seismometers, gas analyzers, ground deformation sensors, and cameras. These data are then analyzed by scientists to understand the behavior of the volcanoes and forecast potential future activity.
    HVO IT personnel work behind the screens, so-to-speak, leveraging computing and network assets to 
process and manage sizable amounts of data, ensuring that it can be accessed quickly and is stored securely. As the observatory’s needs evolve, so too does their response.
    Additionally, HVO’s IT personnel are tasked with meeting evolving demands of federal regulations regarding security and integrity of systems. The observatory must adhere to strict guidelines for protecting sensitive information, maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its mission-critical systems. This requires a robust IT infrastructure that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and a team that can withstand and respond to an array of potential challenges and issues.
    HVO uses localized computing resources due to the disparate nature of instrument deployments and the remote location of the observatory. The volcanoes in its purview are spread across a wide geographic area, making it challenging to establish reliable communication links between instruments, the observatory, and the central data processing facilities. Furthermore, the remote locations of most instruments make internet-facing links economically infeasible or impossible—and in turn, renders cloud-based options impractical for many processing and analysis goals.
    In order to overcome the challenges of distributed data gathering, we compute closer to the data source. This allows for local storage and analysis of data, minimizing the risk of external service outages affecting HVO’s mission. Efforts by HVO IT personnel to make these systems highly available reduce the risk of data loss or corruption during eruptions or other anomalous events. HVO’s infrastructure includes high-performance servers, storage systems, and networking equipment that are designed to operate reliably in a remote location with limited access to external support.
    Future-proofing is another essential consideration for HVO's IT infrastructure. The observatory must ensure that its systems can adapt to new technologies and changing requirements while minimizing costs. To this end, HVO invests in training programs for its IT personnel and judiciously upgrades existing hardware and software systems. HVO IT personnel have developed custom software solutions to manage data collection and analysis, reducing reliance on costly commercial products. Similarly, custom solutions have been developed to meet emerging regulatory requirements. These solutions have also been made available to benefit other USGS Observatories, Science Centers, and Offices, increasing the value provided via public funds.
    The next time that you are on the HVO website to check the location of an earthquake, view a webcam image, or see how the ground is deforming, you can appreciate the high-quality IT infrastructure and exceptional personnel that are indispensable in supporting HVO’s mission. By maintaining reliable and secure systems for managing vast amounts of data, meeting regulatory requirements, ensuring local computing capabilities, and future-proofing on limited budgets, HVO can continue to provide timely scientific information about volcanic eruptions and other natural processes that shape the region’s landscape.
Volcano Activity Updates

The volcano is not erupting. Recent rains brought rainbows. NPS photo by Janice Wei
    Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY. Unrest that began on April 27 continues intermittently beneath the upper East Rift Zone and the summit caldera south of Halemaʻumaʻu. There were less than 100 events most days over the past week except May 17-18, during which there were about 500 earthquakes. Most magnitudes remain smaller than 2 and depths remain concentrated between 2-4 km (1.2-3.1 miles) beneath the surface. Tiltmeters near Sand Hill and Uēkahuna bluff continued to record inflationary trends. Kīlauea's summit region is pressurized, and changes could occur quickly moving forward. See the Information Statement published on May 2 for background information: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hans-public/notice/DOI-USGS-HVO-2024-05-03T07:42:02+00:00.
   Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL. Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Summit seismicity has remained at low levels over the past month. Ground deformation indicates continuing slow inflation as magma replenishes the reservoir system following the 2022 eruption. SO2 emission rates are at background levels.
    Two earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M3.4 earthquake 10 km (6 mi) NNE of Pāhala at 8 km (5 mi) depth on May 22 at 7:33 a.m. HST and a M3.2 earthquake 33 km (20 mi) SSW of Pa‘auilo at 23 km (14 mi) depth on May 21 at 4:37 a.m. HST.
    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.
Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

"SERVING OUR COMMUNITY, PROTECTION OUR LAND" is the slogan of  National Park Service Law Enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior. The agency is recruiting with training and positions available in Hawai'i, including Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. There is also the opportunity to be stationed around the country.
    A National Park Service statement says, "Are you looking for a job opportunity to protect the country's most precious resources and the people who visit them?
   "National Park Service law enforcement rangers, special agents, and United States Park Police are stationed around the country and work to fulfill the National Park Service mission by protecting the natural and cultural resources in parks and by keeping people safe.
The National Park Service is looking for its next generation of law enforcement."
    To learn more about the upcoming application period,  visit go.NPS.gov/lawenforcement.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

HONOR PUBLIC SERVANTS: HE MEA NUI 'OE is the new web page to encourage the public and county employees to nominate County of Hawaiʻi employees for their exemplary service. This initiative from Mayor Mitch Roth aims to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work and exceptional customer service provided by Hawaiʻi County's dedicated county workforce.
   He mea nui ʻoe webpage offers an easy-to-use platform for submitting nominations. By clicking or scanning the QR code on the site, individuals can access the nomination form to highlight the good work and commendable service of county employees.
  "We believe it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of our county employees who go above and beyond in their service to our community," said the Mayor. "Our employees are the backbone of our county, and their dedication and hard work deserve to be recognized."
   Nominations are open to all county employees, regardless of whether they provide direct service to the public or support their colleagues internally. Roth encourages everyone, from county employees to members of the public, to take a moment to nominate those who have made a significant impact through their exemplary service.
    "We are excited to see the community and our county employees come together to celebrate the amazing contributions of our workforce," added the Mayor. "Every nomination is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our employees, and we look forward to recognizing and honoring their outstanding service."
    For more information about the He mea nui ʻoe initiative and to submit a nomination, visit https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/our-county/our-county-our-kuleana/employee-complimenthawaiicounty.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising
Hydrologist Kevin Kodama
at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

RECENT RAINS HAVE PUT OFF THE DRY SEASON FOR HAWAI'I THIS YEAR. Nevertheless, it is expected to be drier than normal, according to National Weather Service's senior hydrologist for these islands. The dry season began May 1 and runs through Sept. 30, but started with heavy rains. Hydrologist Kevin Kodama announced this week that La Nina conditions are expected this summer, with Pacific equatorial waters registering lower than normal surface temperatures and causing lower expectations for tropical storms and hurricanes. May through September is the dry season and below-average dry season precipitation is typical for the summer months of a La Nina onset year, said Kodama.
    He noted that this year's dry season totals will be skewed mainly because of the recent rainfall, which will also delay any severe drought. The interior of the island is already experiencing severe drought, according to Kodama.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

Malama Kai Foundation's Reef Talk on Friday, May 30 will be live streamed on
YouTube channel@malamakai. This is a free event, but donations are always welcome.
 Contact Kater Hiney, Malama Kai Foundation, Reef Talks Coordinator, for more information
 at kateralisha@gmail.com,