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VICS 3rd workshop: Progress in Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society

Tucson, AZ, United States
Working groups
Meeting Category

PAGES' Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society (VICS) working group will hold a progress workshop from 12-14 January 2018 in Tucson, USA.


The University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
85721, USA


This workshop, the group's third, (read about the previous two here and here), is open to approximately 75 participants, and will include keynote speakers, a poster session to accommodate all attendees and "Hack-a-thon" data analysis and synthesis sessions.


The VICS working group aims to:

1. Coordinate improved reconstructions of volcanic radiative forcing.
2. Enhance our understanding of volcanically-induced climate variability by engaging a wide range of paleoclimate reconstruction specialists
3. Deepen our understanding of societal impacts of and human responses to volcanic eruptions.


1. Completion of collaborative cross-disciplinary research projects initiated at the second VICS meeting in Zaragoza, 2017, leading to a special journal issue (in Quaternary Science Reviews) bringing together state-of-the-art knowledge on volcanic impacts on climate and society, including improved estimates of timing and magnitude of forcing, resulting climate anomalies in time and space, and the history, archaeology and anthropology of direct or indirect climatically mediated consequences for human societies.

2. Development of a collaborative and open source 'best practices' article manuscript on comparing the timing and magnitude of volcanic eruptions to climate variability and societal events, and inferring causal relationships, given uncertainties in observations, paleoclimate estimates, and model simulations.

3. Continued development of our online community-editable Wiki, a platform for linking and reconciling ice-core, geological and historical records of volcanic eruptions and their climatic and societal impacts, and completion of the GVP-ice core link database.

4. How do we convey geological, climatological, historical and archaeological perspectives on volcanic hazards and environmental disasters beyond academic audiences? This objective specifically seeks to find ways to engage stakeholders and the general public in the new perspectives and knowledge we have developed and continue to develop within the VICS community. Toward this end, two of our Keynote speakers (see below) have backgrounds specifically in engaging broader audiences on the subject of volcanos, climate, and society, and we will dedicate the last session of the workshop to the issues of broader communication between specialists and the general public. An important goal of this 3rd meeting is to expand efforts to engage stakeholders.

All our objectives continue to require interdisciplinary knowledge and will therefore continue to draw on the expertise of scientists and scholars from a variety of backgrounds, including those in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, ice core science, high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions, climate modeling, archaeology and anthropology, and history.

Key speakers/participants

VICS group leaders: Kevin Anchukaitis (local organizer), Matthew Toohey, Francis Ludlow, Michael Sigl and Allegra LeGrande.

Local (Tucson, AZ) Advisory Committee: David Frank (Director, Laboratory of Tree Ring Research), Charlotte Pearson, Matt Salzer, Katie Hirschboeck and Malcolm Hughes.

In addition to the continued participation of the affiliated scientists previously involved in the first and second meetings, the following keynote speakers have been invited:

- Clive Oppenheimer (Cambridge; volcanologist)
- Gabi Hegerl (Edinburgh; climate scientist)
- Payson Sheets (Colorado; archaeologist)
- Karen Holmberg (NYU; anthropologist, artist, and writer)
- Alexandra Witze (author and journalist)


Friday, 12 January 2018
Arrival in Tucson, Registration, evening Ice Breaker in Downtown Tucson.

Saturday, 13 January 2018
Registration, breakfast and coffee at University of Arizona, keynote speakers, collaborative writing and analytical sessions. Happy Hour Poster session and Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research Tour. Conference dinner with keynote speaker.

Sunday, 14 January 2018
Breakfast and coffee, keynote speakers, collaborative writing, plenary and planning session. Happy Hour.

Financial support

We have received a small amount of support from PAGES which will be used to offset or cover conference costs for invited participants and early-career researchers. Early-career researchers (especially students and postdocs) are encouraged to complete the additional section of the registration form if they would like to apply for funds to cover part of their travel costs.


If you need a letter of invitation for a visa or to apply for a travel grant or financial assistance, please plan to submit an abstract as soon as you are able so we can help you with any logistical or travel issues you may encounter.

Abstracts and pre-registration

The abstract deadline is 15 October 2017. Abstract submission is through the meeting website.

Submitting an abstract is optional and we encourage interested researchers to attend even if they prefer not to submit an abstract or give a presentation.  A major focus of the meeting will be collaborative engagement and work on the history, evidence, consequences, and impacts of specific eruptions, and anyone interested in these topics is encouraged to attend.  

We will charge a standard registration fee of $100 in order for us to take care of costs. Early-career researchers can request to have their registration fee waived, and we welcome senior researchers who might be willing to voluntarily pay a higher registration fee ($200) to enable the attendance of their junior colleagues.

Mechanisms for paying the registration fees (including the ability to do-so onsite) will be available at a later time.  You do not need to pay at the time you submit an abstract or register.

Further information

Questions can be sent to Kevin Anchukaitis:

Follow the VICS working group on Twitter: