Some Alaskans have the dubious distinction of a volcano practically in their backyard, across the water or upwind. Now, a new radio program will help keep them, and other listeners across the state, informed about what’s going on with Alaska’s 54 active volcanoes.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory, or AVO, is starting up the weekly two-minute public radio segment on Fridays beginning Feb. 7 on KUAC at 4:30 p.m. during “All Things Considered.” The program will also be available through KUAC’s online stream.
The “AVO Radio” program will present a review of volcanoes currently erupting as well as those which are just rumbling, and offer scientific insights similar to other public radio programs such as “Alaska Weather,” “StarDate” and “BirdNote.”
“I’m looking forward to expanding AVO’s ability to get information on Alaska volcanic activity to as many people as possible,” said John Perreault, host of the segment.
Perreault is a geologist with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys in the volcanology section, with AVO. However, for several years, he was the early morning radio host on KUAC, as well as the FM operations manager and traffic coordinator. The idea for the segment came from a KUAC listener who knew Perreault had made the switch.
The show is an effort to continue growing AVO’s already established emergency and aviation communications. Through those channels, as well as social media and media coverage, they provide critical information about eruptions to the public. Perreault hopes this radio show will help keep people informed, especially those who may have less reliable internet or who don’t get aviation alerts.
So far, KUCB-Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, KYUK-Bethel, KBBI-Homer, KDLL-Homer, KMXT-Kodiak, KTNA-Talkeetna, KIYU-Galena, and KUAC here in Fairbanks are planning to add the segment.
“There is a lot to learn about Alaska’s volcanoes, and people across the state are interested to know more,” Perreault said. “We want to be able to educate and inform folks about our volcanoes as much as possible.”
The Alaska Volcano Observatory is a cooperative effort of the US Geological Survey, the UAF Geophysical Institute and the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.