The U.S. Interagency Volcanic Hazards Sciences and Services Coordination Group
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Monday, 5 January 2015: 2:15 PM
132AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Although the USGS and NOAA have enjoyed a strong partnership for volcanic hazards since the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökul volcano in Iceland highlighted the impact of volcanic ash to the global economy. These volcanic eruptions began as an Icelandic, North Atlantic and Northern European issue and quickly transformed into a global issue by shutting down airspace and impacting airline carriers from around the world. The global impacts to aviation and other users were compounded by inconsistent products from the various Meteorological Service Providers in North America and Europe, which led to the creation of the NOAA Volcanic Ash Working Group (VAWG). The VAWG, tasked to provide clarification, advice and assistance, was formed with expert members from across NOAA (NWS, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)) to concentrate on assessing current science and service issues and build a plan to strengthen NOAA's volcanic ash program. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the issue (both scientific and operational), experts from other federal agencies were added to the group later. NOAA, USGS, NASA, and DoD all currently provide volcanic hazards services and/or conduct related research and development.
The purpose of this group is to periodically convene volcanic ash experts to focus on recent and future scientific and operational improvements and needs. The Interagency Volcanic Hazards Science/Services Coordination Group (IVHSCG) provides interagency expertise on volcanic ash science and services, including, but not limited to, impact to aviation and is co-chaired by members from each participating agency. This working group has no explicit policy making function. The objective of this working group is to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information on volcanic ash to ultimately provide consistent and coordinated response to ash eruptions and to improve the quality of hazard information for each agency's stakeholders in order to mitigate the impacts of volcanic ash.