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The volcano watcher

12:04pm, September 7, 2012

Matt Patrick’s office is perched not far from the summit of Hawaii’s busiest volcano: Kilauea. When it erupts, he has a good view. Of course, it’s his job to see every possible vista of the peak, whether it’s flying over in a helicopter, hiking to fissures and along lava fields or checking webcams, seismometers and satellites. Working at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Patrick is part of a team that monitors the volcano’s every tremor, eruption, burp of gas and lava path. This diligence helps researchers track potential danger and understand the details of a volcano’s inner workings.

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