Robby Goldman, NSF Graduate Research Fellow and PhD Candidate in the Department of Geology, recently received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) from the American Geophysical Union for his oral presentation given during the 2021 AGU Fall Meeting, titled “Examining residents’ perceptions and attitudes toward sources and messengers of Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption information.” Robby, who is advised by Dr. Trish Gregg, has been collaborating with U.S. Geological Survey scientists Dr. Wendy Stovall, Dr. David Damby, and Dr. Sara McBride for his NSF Graduate Research Internship Project (GRIP) evaluating the impact of the USGS’s public communications, including in-person community meetings, radio and television broadcasts, HVO’s webpage, and the “@USGSVolcanoes” Facebook page, during the 2018 eruption of Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano.


Robby shares: “I am extremely humbled and honored to have received an OSPA for an area of research I have become increasingly passionate about: applying science to benefit society.” Robby credits the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the USGS Volcano Hazards Program with providing him the funding and resources to conduct this project, and his USGS coauthors for providing invaluable mentorship and perspectives in hazard communication and social science research.


2018 eruption hazard sites from Kilauea
Image from the title slide of Robby’s 2021 AGU talk, showing a map of the island of Hawai‘i with locations of 2018 eruption hazards from Kīlauea’s summit and lower East Rift Zone, as well as the three residential regions—shaded in gray, yellow, and orange—where Robby conducted his in-person interviews in January 2020.


Robby is the first author of a paper currently in review with the journal Volcanica on the same topic as his OSPA. Robby is also preparing a second paper, which will provide an in-depth analysis of public comments on the “@USGSVolcanoes” Facebook page during the 2018 eruption, for submission to the special research topic “Volcanic Forecasting, Crisis Management, and Risk Communication” in the journal Frontiers in Earth Science. Drs. Stovall, Damby, and McBride are coauthors on both manuscripts.