KSU professor using volcanic activity as learning tool

Local News

The volcanoes in Hawaii and Guatemala are capturing attention because the pictures are fascinating. They show the power of nature and the devastation it can cause.

Kent State Trumbull Professor Dr. David Hacker is watching the volcano in Hawaii very closely. Earlier this year, he was in Hawaii watching a smaller flow from the same volcano, which has had a lava flow since 1983.

“You can go right up to it. It’s a lifetime experience to see lava flow up close,” Hacker said.

The magma’s heat is what always sticks with him. It is 2,300 degrees. Hacker explains that we live on plates and plates move around. The molten magma being thrown into the air is generated where plates come together or pull apart, or move over a hot spot.

“The misconception is that there is magma everywhere underground. It is only happening in places that are tectonically active, but it’s a lot,” Hacker said.

Right now, Hawaii and Guatemala have his attention. They’re two different types of volcanic activity. What fascinates Dr. Hacker is the human occupation in areas that are hazardous and how they interact with that activity.

Hacker translates it all to teaching at Kent Trumbull – the biology, the atmosphere, and our water work together just like a car.

“Each component helps make the car run. Basically, all these components make our planet run. We are just a big part of this giant automobile called earth,” Hacker said.

Northeast Ohio is very safe from geological activity. The closest volcanoes are in the Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.

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