Managing societal uncertainty in volcanic hazards: a multidisciplinary approach

Kevin R. Ronan (Kevin R. Ronan is at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.)
Douglas Paton (Douglas Paton is at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.)
David M. Johnston (David M. Johnston is at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.)
Bruce F. Houghton (Bruce F. Houghtonis at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 1 December 2000

Abstract

This paper summarizes research involving a multidisciplinary team of volcanologists and social scientists. It describes collaboration in relation to social and physical risk and vulnerability following the Mount Ruapehu eruptions of 1995‐1996. This work stresses a key role for such multidisciplinary teams in reducing the social impact of volcanic hazards through assisting communities, organizations, and individuals following an eruption and, importantly, during quiescent periods. We present an overview of a multidisciplinary approach and related research. In stressing the role of the physical science community in managing societal hazards and risk, the paper addresses how this role can be enhanced through collaboration with social scientists and others. The emphasis here is the facilitation of volcanological knowledge and expertise in threat communication, mitigation, community development, emergency planning, and response management. Our research has examined mechanisms for integration, multi‐disciplinary training, and preparing volcanologists for the social demands encountered in playing an active crisis management role. One area of overlap that can tie together disciplines and assist the public is the idea that volcanic activity and the related uncertainties are, at their essence, simply problems that with increasingly integrated efforts likewise have increasingly attainable solutions.

Keywords

Citation

Ronan, K., Paton, D., Johnston, D. and Houghton, B. (2000), "Managing societal uncertainty in volcanic hazards: a multidisciplinary approach", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 339-349. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653560010361366

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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