CONVERSE Scenario Building Institute (CSBI) 2023

CONVERSE Scenario Building Institute (CSBI, pronounced `Ces-bee`)

The CONVERSE Center conducted a one-week workshop to design and build a Volcanic Eruption Scenario at the University of New Mexico Campus from July 9 to July 15, 2023. 

The goal of this year’s CSBI was to bring together students of volcano science to develop a scenario for the science response to the run-up to and eruption of an arc volcano. The development of eruption scenarios is important for volcano science because they advance our understanding of pre- and syn-eruptive processes and highlight the open science questions. Scenarios also help participants to appreciate the complexities of mounting a scientific response under crisis conditions and to practice the coordination and collaboration necessary for an effective response.   

Participants of the CSBI worked in an in-person and interdisciplinary setting to develop the geophysical and geochemical signals that lead up to the simulated eruption and the observables that will represent the eruption as it evolves. For instance, the scenario-building process included forecasting of tephra fall and pyroclastic flows during the eruption. The eruption scenario was based on a realistic framework of events and in collaboration with experts from a Volcano Observatory. Students collectively determined the evolution and outcome of the volcanic events. The materials that have resulted from this workshop will be used in a community exercise in the future (later this year or early next) and CSBI participants will be encouraged to take leadership roles during the exercise.

CONVERSE supported travel to Albuquerque, lodging on campus, meals, and a $500 stipend for 17 participants. We aimed to have a broad representation of the subdisciplines of volcanology, including seismology, geodesy, petrology/geochemistry, gas, remote sensing, tephra/ash/lava dispersion, and modeling.  Peer-to-peer mentoring was encouraged through an introductory lecture.

As part of the CSBI, participants also had the opportunity to complete the one-day FEMA-certified course on Volcanic Crisis Awareness that was taught on the UNM Campus on July 9.   

The CSBI also included an introductory lecture, guidance by subject matter experts during the scenario building (either on-site or virtually), and a short field trip to Valles Caldera in the Jemez Volcanic Field. We hope that the outcome of the scenario building process will lead to presentations at professional meetings and publications in scientific journals.

CSBI Organizers:

Tobias Fischer (UNM), Einat Lev (LDEO), Bruce Houghton (UH Manoa), Yolanda Lin (UNM) Cari Hushman (UNM), and Su Zhang (UNM).