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World’s volcano experts head to Auckland


World’s volcano experts head to Auckland

January 17, 2001

More than 250 of the world’s top volcanic experts representing 20 countries will be in Auckland from February 12-14 for the Cities on Volcanoes 2 conference at SkyCity.

The conference will provide a forum for specialists from several disciplines to collaborate and re-evaluate volcanic crisis preparedness and management worldwide.

Conference committee member Dr David Johnston (Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences) says it is appropriate that the conference is being held in Auckland – a city which has developed across a potentially active basaltic volcanic field.

“This conference will help volcanic cities like Auckland to be better prepared for an eruption. In attendance will be specialists from a variety of fields, including volcanology, sociology, psychology, emergency management, economics and city planning.”

Dr Johnston stresses that the conference is not just of interest to scientists.

“People with an interest in emergency management will also benefit. As a country on the Pacific Ring of Fire, we all need to be prepared for the potentially devastating consequences of a volcanic eruption.”

Keynote speakers for the three-day conference are:

 Professor Steve Sparks (University of Bristol, UK), Managing the Montserrat volcanic crisis

 Professor Bruce Houghton (University of Hawaii, USA), Physical volcanology of the Auckland Volcanic Field

 Dr Robin Falconer (Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, New Zealand), Geohazard monitoring in New Zealand

 Dr Peter Baxter (University of Cambridge, UK), Human health and volcanoes

 Dr Wally Johnson (Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Australia) Volcanic hazard management in the South Pacific

 Dr Neil Britton (Ministry for Emergency Management , New Zealand), Future directions of emergency management

 David Middleton (Earthquake Commission, New Zealand), Insuring against natural hazards in New Zealand

 Dr Michael Lindell (Texas A&M University, USA) Social impacts of disasters

 Dr John Lidstone (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Natural hazard education

A wide range of discussion sessions will also be held. One of the topics is Lessons from the 1995-96 Ruapehu Eruptions, which has already provoked interest from the international delegation.

Cities on Volcanoes 2 is organised by the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, Auckland Regional Council, Massey University, The University of Auckland, and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior.


MEDIA: for further information about the Cities on Volcanoes 2 conference please phone David Johnston (Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences) on 07 374 8211, or visit the conference web site at

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