Volcano Watch: Today’s family of 5 USGS volcano observatories began with HVO over 111 years ago

  • USGS photograph by Frank A. Perret The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), founded in 1912 by Thomas A. Jaggar, was the first of five volcano observatories supported by USGS today. The “Technology Station” (circled) on the eastern rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater — at the summit of Kilauea — was the first, though temporary, of several buildings that HVO has occupied since its founding.

HVO staff has grown from one geologist, Thomas A. Jaggar, in 1912 to more than 30 people today. This team includes scientists and specialists in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, field engineering and telemetry, information technology, administration, public communications and more. Hundreds of volunteers, students, and visiting scientists — many from the University of Hawaii — have also provided valuable assistance to HVO through the years.