Science Communication

My secondary professional passions are science communication, public outreach, and emergency preparedness. When I’m not researching or managing a project, I enjoy helping curate museum displays (e.g. at the Taupo Museum & online Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Volcanoes web exhibition), writing my City of Volcanoes blog, tweeting up a storm, guiding folks around the Auckland Volcanic Field, talking to school groups and other people of all ages, organising public outreach events and demo-ing volcanic concepts, giving media interviews, and sharing how cool volcanoes are with anyone who will listen, all with a strong emphasis on how important it is to plan for emergencies such as those caused by natural hazards. I also make it a point to fly over and photograph volcanoes as much as I can, even on vacations!

See/Hear Me: TV, Print, Radio Interviews

April 2017: Television interview by Philippe Cousteau, Jr., host of ‘Xploration Awesome Planet.’ Season 4, Episode 4, segment focused on the Auckland Volcanic Field, aired on FOX stations September 25, 2017. Available online.

June 2016. Print interview by Alexandra Witze, ‘‘Zombie volcano’ slowly grows beneath New Zealand.’ Nature, News, 3 June 2016.

June 2016. Interview for press release about EQC funded research project, ‘How long have we got to act? Magma ascent rates in the Auckland volcanic field.‘ 

April 2013 – February 2015. Pitched story idea, fact-checked article, was interviewed and photographed over 2 years about DEVORA research for ‘The Fire Beneath Us,’ New Zealand Geographic. January – February 2015 issue’s cover story.

April 2014. Interview for ‘The stories behind 22 STEM superstars,’ Public Broadcasting Station NewsHour Extra webpage.

March 2014. Interview for ‘Drilling on Rangitoto Island.’ Our Changing World programme, Radio New Zealand National.

April 2013. Interview by Will Hine for ‘Radar reveals Auckland’s volcanic history,’  TV ONE News, aired across New Zealand, Sunday 6 pm news broadcast.

October 2012. Interview for ‘Should Auckland prepare for a volcanic disaster?’ Te Waha Nui, AUT University Journalism Publication.

September 2011. Interview for DStv SuperSport channel’s Rugby World Cup: Kia Ora television show covering Auckland attractions to visit while in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. Aired in South Africa.

Public Outreach: Public Talks & Events, Museum Displays, School Visits, Field Trips

I founded and co-coordinate the DEVORA Outreach Group. We do all sorts of fun activities as a part of this group. I also direct and manage all incoming outreach requests from the public & train students to perform volcano-focused outreach tasks.

Other activities: I give talks to public groups, organise public events, visit schools, guide field trips, contribute content to museum displays, and write blogs.

2009 – present. Current Research on the Auckland Volcanic Field. Contributes updated content to the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Volcanoes web exhibit, including a website content overhaul in 2016.

December 2016. Contributed to School of Environment’s Hazard Hub blog: Smid E, Tsang S, and Kenedi K, 2016: Volcanic eruption in Auckland?! Investigating when, where, what, and how we prepare, react, and recover. http://hazardhub.org/blog/volcanic-eruption-in-auckland-investigating-when-where-what-and-how-we-prepare-react-and-recover/

October 2016. Organiser of booth ‘Volcanoes and Earthquakes’ for Upper Harbour Primary School’s Science Day. 29 October 2016.

October 2016. Auckland Heritage Festival event organiser and coordinator of ‘Shaking and Popping in New Zealand: Earthquakes and Volcanoes.’ 8 October 2016.

September 2013-16. Each year, designed and contributed a poster describing DEVORA for INVOLCAN’s annual La Noche de los Volcanes (European Volcanoes’ Night).

May 2016. Presented ‘Auckland’s Volcanoes: Blast From the Past,’ invited talk to Nerd Nite Auckland Chapter 35.

February – April 2016. Set up a letter exchange about volcanoes with West Dover Elementary School’s 2nd and 3rd graders (35 students) in Tom’s River, New Jersey, USA. Coordinated 7 other volcanologist participants around New Zealand.

April 2016. Met with Auckland Council Planning and Intelligence Advisor about creating a disaster preparedness educational programme. Contributed ideas and resources. Included as a part of the Auckland Council’s Scientist Database.

October 2015. ‘The Volcanoes in Your Backyard’ event co-organiser, part of the 2015 Auckland Heritage Festival, hosted at the Auckland War Memorial Museum as a part of the Taku Tāmaki exhibit. Saw >1400 visitors.

June 2015. Incredible Science day participant and co-organiser of DEVORA/Volcanoes activity booth, served Devonport Primary School, Auckland, Years 1-6.

May 2015. AVF field trip guide for commissioned artist Bianca Hester and curator Abby Cunnane for art exhibition ‘movements materialising momentarily’ at St Paul St Gallery, Auckland.

March 2015. MOTAT NZ’s Street Science Fair participant and co-organiser of DEVORA/Volcanoes activity booth. Interacted with over 1,500 kids and adults in attendance.

January 2015. Contributed knowledge at a joint DEVORA-Auckland Council meeting to update the Auckland Volcanic Field Contingency Plan.

August 2014. One of 30 scientists chosen to attend the Science Media Centre NZ’s Science Blogging workshop with Scientific American blog editor Curtis Brainard.

July 2014. Rock-head sciences blog guest post contributor. http://rockheadsciences.com/research-assistant-volcanic-hazards-elaine-smid/

June 2014. Developed content and manned booth featuring DEVORA at the University of Auckland’s 2014 ‘Celebrating Research Excellence’ event.

April 2014. ‘How to become a media SAVVY scientist,’ seminar given to the School of Environment at the University of Auckland.

March 2014. DEVORA public outreach representative and booth organiser, Resilient Auckland Expo.

February 2014. AVF field trip guide for 8 commissioned artists, “Deep Time” experience at Maungataketake Volcano, for Te Tuhi Gallery.

December 2013. Education Volunteer at the American Geophysical Union’s Volcanology-Geochemistry-Petrology Exploration Station outreach event.

November 2013. First Lego League expert coach, Nature’s Fury edition. Provided expert advice to a team of five 11 – 14 year olds faced with the challenge of improving Auckland’s volcanic monitoring networks.

November 2013. Co-led 60+ secondary school teachers around North Head volcano, University of Auckland School of Environment’s annual Teacher’s Day.

March 2013. New Zealand Science Media Centre SAVVY course graduate. Chosen as one of 12 scientists in northern NZ to attend a workshop aimed at preparing scientists for media interactions.

 May 2012. School visit, 150+ Year 3/4 students, Northcote Primary School. Educational visit about volcano types, the AVF, volcanologist gear, and volcanic hazards.

May 2012. School visit and field trip, Northcote Intermediate School. Created course materials, presentations, and a full day field trip itinerary aimed at teaching 150+ Year 7 students about the types of eruptions, lava flow morphology, and associated volcanic hazards found in the AVF.

April 2012. Primary organizer and content designer of Taupo Museum’s Geothermal Wonderland permanent exhibit, including obtaining sponsors and creating a take-home brochure. Opened 26 April 2012. Press release and online media coverage included:

 April 2012. ‘What’s that bubbling? Results from the first soil gas CO2 monitoring campaign in the Auckland Volcanic Field,’ presented to the Auckland GeoClub, a branch of the New Zealand Geoscience Society.

 

Online and Social Media Content Management

I manage the content on our DEVORA website. Check us out!

I am the administrator and content director of our DEVORA Facebook page.

My personal Twitter account, @lavabombs, also reposts content from our DEVORA Facebook page. All other posts are my own and do not necessarily represent those of DEVORA nor my employer.

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In front of the museum display on geothermal geology that I helped brainstorm, fund-raise, and create in collaboration with Taupo Museum then-curator Karen Williams (left).

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Being interviewed by TVNZ in April 2013. See story here. Photo by Cheng Yii Sim.

Explaining phenomena at Maungataketake Volcano, Auckland Volcanic Field. Photo by Te Tuhi artists.

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Getting interviewed by Radio New Zealand National on the Rangitoto drill site. Photo by Tamzin Linnell.

 

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Filming on Mt Eden/Maungawhau in the Auckland Volcanic Field with ‘Xploration Awesome Planet’ host Philippe Cousteau, Jr.

 

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Filming on Mt Eden/Maungawhau in the Auckland Volcanic Field with ‘Xploration Awesome Planet‘ host Philippe Cousteau, Jr.

 

 

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Research Philosophy * My Research * My Publications & Presentations * Project Management * My CV & Contact Me

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