Volcanoes are powerful and dangerous, yet often we humans overstate ultra-rare dangers (such as the possibility of Yellowstone National Park’s “super volcano” erupting) while ignoring much more likely hazards (such as building homes in known lava flow zones in Hawaii or building suburbs of Seattle on top of known debris flows from Mount Rainier).
In order to keep an eye on volcanoes and to better educate the public, the US Geological Survey (part of the US government) operates multiple “volcano observatories” that study the real behavior of volcanoes in the United States.
You assignment is to go to one of the Volcano Observatory websites, poke around, and learn something you never knew before about the real behavior and hazards of volcanoes, then to write a paragraph or two summarizing what you learned for your fellow classmates.
Links to the USGS Volcano Observatories can be found here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/observatories.html (link opens in new window).
Your grade will depend on:
• Proper spelling and grammar (including the fact that a paragraph almost always contains multiple sentences held together by a topic sentence)
• Evidence of how much reading you did on the website (in other words, copying information from the main web page of the observatory is not evidence of much work, thought, or poking around)
• How interesting or important or insightful what you learned. For example, “I never knew that lava is hot” is a pretty boring and unimportant realization.
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