Introducing Geoscience Students to Numerical Modeling of Volcanic Hazards: The example of Tephra2 on VHub.org
Special aspects of education
DOAJ:Mathematics and Statistics
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AbstractThe Tephra2 numerical model for tephra fallout from explosive volcanic eruptions is specifically designed to enable students to probe ideas in model literacy, including code validation and verification, the role of simplifying assumptions, and the concepts of uncertainty and forecasting. This numerical model is implemented on the VHub.org website, a venture in cyberinfrastructure that brings together volcanological models and educational materials. The VHub.org resource provides students with the ability to explore and execute sophisticated numerical models like Tephra2. We present a strategy for using this model to introduce university students to key concepts in the use and evaluation of Tephra2 for probabilistic forecasting of volcanic hazards. Through this critical examination students are encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of the applicability and limitations of hazard models. Although the model and applications are intended for use in both introductory and advanced geoscience courses, they could easily be adapted to work in other disciplines, such as astronomy, physics, computational methods, data analysis, or computer science.