Dr Carina Fearnley
Lecturer in Environmental Hazards
BSc Geology (Imperial College London)
MSc Mineral Project Appraisal (Imperial College London)
PhD (University College London)
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622780
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622659
- IGES MSc Coordinator
- MSc Postgraduate Admissions and Recruitment
- Athena Swan (charter for women in science) representative for IGES
- Student Geography Society ‘Geogsoc’ staff liaison officer
Module coordinator for:
- Geohazards (EA22810)
- Volcanic Activity: Hazards And Environmental Change (EA30420)
- Advanced Research Skills (EAM1120)
- Environmental Management (EA20110)
- Key Skills for Geographers (GG13000)
- Geography Tutorial (GG22110)
- Geography Dissertation (GG34040)
- Geography Fieldwork - New Zealand North (GG22400)
- Volcanic Warning and Response Systems: an Evaluation of the UK Ash Alert during the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption, 14-20 April 2010 (Aberystwyth University Research Grant 2011)
Previous Research Projects
- Understanding the Potential New Roles for Mobile Computer Technologies for Teaching Geography Fieldwork: using GIS and Social Networking to Enhance Learning Opportunities (Learning and Teaching Enhancement Fund for Wales 2011)
Carina's research lies within the field of Disaster Risk Reduction, focusing on the role of understanding and communicating uncertainty, risk, and complexity to develop resilience to natural and environmental hazards. Specifically this research focuses on the need to reconceptualise natural hazard early warning systems by using interdisciplinary approaches to develop a better understanding of the physical and social sciences involved.
To date, investigations on the interactions between the construction of scientific knowledge, uncertainty and risk have used both theoretical and empirical approaches at volcano observatories in the United States. Current and future research reviews a number of different country’s volcanic observatories with the aim of further:
- charting the relationship between scientific uncertainty and risk in warning decision-making practices
- establishing and evaluating innovative methods to manage complexities via communication tools within natural disasters
- developing policy and best practices to improve early warning systems through adopting precautionary approaches and deliberative processes that bring together different actors to identify and manage natural hazards
Additionally Carina's research explores the implications of the standardisation and globalisation of volcano alert level systems with the goal of establishing best practices that can contribute to current debate within the UNISDR concerning how to develop global platforms for early warning systems.
Given the interdisciplinary nature of Carina's research her work encompasses the study of the following disciplines: the philosophy and sociology of scientific knowledge; complexity theory; sociological approaches to scientific uncertainty and risk; science communication and policy development; volcanological studies; earth sciences; geography; and disaster / environmental hazard studies, to name a few.
Research blog on early warning systems: http://naturalhazardews.blogspot.com
Early warning and hazard information: HazardEWS on Twitter.
Current PhD Students
- Daniel Beech
Carina has a background in Geology and Mining, studied at Imperial College London (BSc and MSc) completing an exploration geologist internship at Rio Tinto. Before completing her PhD studies at UCL she worked in the London financial sector for three years in investment banking and stock brokering. Her research, as outlined above, is interdisciplinary bringing together hazard science, disaster management, and science and technology studies to better understand natural hazard early warning systems. She is a strong believer that interdisciplinary work can provide enormous benefit to problems that society face today that traditional disciplines cannot address alone by bringing together the wealth of knowledge and techniques of different disciplines so that a better understanding of the problems can be developed, and consequently effective solutions found.
In 2009 she co-organised an international conference on '‘Disaster Risk Reduction for Natural Hazards' that explored ways to put research into practice (www.ucl.ac.uk/drrconference) and is an editor of a related special issue of the journal of Environmental Hazards to be published in January 2012. During 2010-2011 she was involved in the Eyjafjallajökull and Grimvötn ash crisis that affected the UK and Europe, publishing a number of articles and reports, and going on BBC radio and TV. Carina is also a frequent guest volcanologist at Nature Live events at the Natural History Museum in London.
Carina continues her successful collaboration 'The Other Volcano' with the designer Nelly Ben Hayoun (www.nellyben.com) that was part of the 2010 Manchester Science Festival and London Design Week (also 2010); exhibited in the London Wellcome Trust window display from 2010-2011; and published in Wired Magazine amongst others. 'The Other Volcano' is now exhibiting at the National Museum of China.
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)
- Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS)
- Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- Member of the ESRC NERC Science and Policy Interface for Disaster Reduction Network (SPIDER)
Peer Reviewed Book Chapters and Journal Articles
- Fearnley, CJ (in press) ‘Assigning an alert level at the USGS: negotiating uncertainty and risk in decision-making processes for volcanic hazards’ Environment and Planning A
- Fearnley, CJ, McGuire, WJ; Davies, G, Twigg, J. 2012. Standardisation of the USGS Volcano Alert Level System (VALS): analysis and ramifications. Bulletin of Volcanology 74(9): 2023-2036. DOI
- Garcia G. and Fearnley CJ. 2012. ‘Disaster Risk Reduction for Natural Hazards: Putting Research into Practice’. Evaluating Critical Links in Early Warning Systems for Natural Hazards. Environmental Hazards. 11(2): 123-137. DOI
- Fearnley CJ, Lowe CJ, Wilkinson E. 2012. Preface. Environmental Hazards 11(2):71-73 DOI
- Edwards S, Fearnley CJ, Lowe C, Wilkinson E. 2012. ‘Disaster Risk Reduction for Natural Hazards: Putting Research into Practice’. Environmental Hazards, 11 (2): 172-176. DOI
- Barclay J, Haynes K, Mitchell T, Solana C, Teeuw R, Darnell A, Crossweller H S, Cole P, Pyle D, Lowe CJ, Fearnley CJ, Kelman I. 2008. Framing volcanic risk communication within disaster risk reduction: finding ways for the social and physical sciences to work together. In: Liverman, D.G.E., Pereira, C.P.G & Marker, B. (eds) Communicating Environmental Geoscience. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 305, 165-177
- Fearnley C. 2005. HIV and AIDS Risk Management at Rustenburg Section Anglo Platinum. Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science 114 (3), B146-B153
Reports and Book Contributions
- Fearnley C. 2011, Case Study on Lahar Management in Orting, USA. In: Wisner, B., J.C. Gaillard, and I. Kelman (eds.). 2011. Handbook of Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction. Routledge. London, U.K.
- Sammonds P, McGuire W, & Edwards S. (Eds.). 2010. Volcanic Hazard from Iceland: Analysis and Implications of the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption. UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, London (contributor to report) http://www.ucl.ac.uk/rdr/publications/iceland
- Fearnley C. 2009. Early warning and early action - an introduction (Box 1.1 Early Warning Systems for Volcanoes). In: Knight, L., World Disasters Report 2009 - Focus on early warning, early action. Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 14-17. http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/wdr2009/summaries.asp
- Fearnley, C. and Bunting, P. 2011. Understanding the Potential New Roles for Mobile Computer Technologies for Teaching Geography Fieldwork: using GIS and Social Networking to Enhance Learning Opportunities. Enhancing Fieldwork Learning Showcase Event. Port Talbot, Wales. 16-18 September 2011
- Fearnley, C. 2011. Negotiating uncertainty and risk in decision-making processes for volcanic alert level systems. Volcano Observatory Best Practices (VOBP) Workshop: Near-term eruption forecasting. Erice, Sicily, 11-15 September 2011
- Fearnley, C., and Ben Hayoun, N. 2011. The Other Volcano. RGS/IBG Annual Conference 2011 (Art, Science and Geographical Imaginaries session). London, 1 September 2011
- Fearnley C, Davies G, McGuire W, Twigg J, 2010. Standardisation of volcano early warning and alert systems: lessons from the U.S. Geological Survey and the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull ash crisis in the UK. In International & Science Technology Centre (ISTC) Workshop: Worldwide early warning system of volcanic activities and mitigation of the global/regional consequences of volcanic eruptions. Moscow, Russia, 8-9 July 2010. http://www.istc.ru/istc/istc.nsf/va_WebPages/Volcanic_warningEng
- Fearnley C. 2010 Eyjafjallajökull: The Early Warning System: success or failure? VMSG Icelandic Ash Meeting. Oxford April 2010 (Talk)
- Fearnley, C., Davies, G., McGuire, W., Twigg, J., 2009. The standardisation of Volcanic Alert Level Systems (VALS). In Disaster Risk Reduction: Putting Research into Practice 2009. London, 4-6 November 2009. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/drrconference/presentations.html
- Fearnley, C., Davies, G., McGuire, W., Twigg, J., 2009. The standardisation of Volcanic Alert Level Systems (VALS). In International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) 2008 General Assembly. Reykjavik, Iceland, 18-22 August 2009.
- Fearnley, C., Davies, G., McGuire, W., Twigg, J., 2008. Volcano Alert Notification Systems (VANS); opening the Black Box. In Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group (VMSG) 2008 Meeting. Dublin Ireland, 3-4 January 2008.
- Fearnley, C., Davies, G., McGuire, W., Twigg, J., 2007. Developing an Alternative Conceptual and Methodological Approach to Interpreting and Utilizing Volcanic Forecasting within Early Warning Systems. In Cities on Volcanoes 5. Shimabara Japan, 19-23 November 2007.
- Fearnley, C., Davies, G., McGuire, W., Twigg, J., 2007. Understanding Volcano Early Warning Systems. In SPIDER Network Meeting. University of Coventry UK, 29-30 March 2007.
2010 Published article on UCL main page ‘Ash cloud obscures success of warning system’
2010 Published article on UCL main research page ‘The fallout from the ash cloud’
2010 Interviewed for article on Xinhuanet.com 'Volcanic ash warning system works but needs improvement'
2010 BBC World Service Radio discussion: ‘Discovery – Under the Volcano’
2010 BBC Radio 4: Material World - Ash, rockets, facebook and dinosaurs
2010 Natural History Museum Nature Live Events: 'Violent Volcanoes'
2011 BBC Radio 4: Material World - Icelandic volcanic ash, urban gardens and electrons
2011 Invited talk on Volcanoes at the super/collider Science Fair
2012 BBC Radio Wales 'Roy Noble'
2011 BBC Wales 'Good Evening Wales'