BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo will host the
international workshop "Probabilistic Analysis of Volcanic Hazards"
on May 16-19.
Conference participants will include geologists, volcanologists
and statisticians from several nations, who will consider current
methodologies used in the analysis of volcanic hazards, including
probability, randomness and statistical measures, in order to help
define priorities for future research.
The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation,
the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the
Earth's Interior, the UB Strategic Strength in Extreme Events and
the UB Center for Geohazards Studies.
Talks constituting the workshop's scientific program will be
held in the Student Union Theater, UB North Campus. Late afternoon
poster sessions will be held in the Student Union Flag Room on the
second floor; a hands-on training session in the use of
computational tools will take place Thursday morning. Further
information about the workshop and registration can be found at http://volcanichazards.cas.buffalo.edu/hazardconference.html.
"Generating probabilistic hazard maps for potentially active
volcanoes is recognized as a fundamental step towards the
mitigation of risk to vulnerable communities," says Eliza Calder,
assistant professor of geology at UB and an organizer of the
"As a community we are only beginning to understand in a
quantitative way the many factors that affect whether or not a
particular location is at risk from a volcanic event," says Calder,
who specializes in the dynamics of volcanic systems.
"Government institutions ultimately are responsible for
generating hazard maps," she says, "but the academic community can
assist in this map construction and can bring statistical tools to
bear on the analysis."
For this reason, she says it is of critical importance to
understand the wide variety of methods that are currently employed
to generate such maps, and the respective philosophies on which
they are based.
"Understanding the hazards and possible methods to ameliorate
those hazards will help public officials as they plan mitigation
strategies," says E. Bruce Pitman, professor of mathematics and
associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, another of the
To this end, the conference will bring together field scientists
and international experts in modeling, computing and statistical
analysis to discuss probabilistic methods, problems posed by data
glut from computer models, uncertainty in digital elevation models
and the prediction of extreme events and their consequences.
Confirmed presenters will include Susan Loughlin of the British
Geological Survey, Edinburgh, UK; physical volcanologist and
geophysicist Chuck Connor, professor of geology, University of
South Florida; Steve Self, senior volcanologist, U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission; and Laura Sandri of Italy's National
Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
Also Thea Hinks, University of Bristol, UK, a specialist in
probabilistic hazard and risk modeling, mapping and communication
of risk, and decision-making under uncertainty; statistician and
modeling specialist Claudia Furlan, University of Padua; Puneet
Singla, UB assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace
engineering; Elaine Spiller, assistant professor of math,
statistics and computer science at Marquette University where she
specializes in applied probability and simulations; and Gustavo
Cordoba, of the University of Narino, Colombia, who has focused on
modeling the propagation of turbidity currents.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's
more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through
more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree
programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of
the Association of American Universities.