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As the eruption at Kilauea volcano turned the southeastern corner of Hawaii’s Big Island into a river of lava this summer, residents and tourists were instructed to stay the hell away. An all-women team of scientists from Britain, however, was asked to do the exact opposite.
In July, five volcanologists from the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds arrived in Hawaii to sample Kilauea volcano’s toxic emissions at the request of the US Geological Survey (USGS). At times wearing gear that would have fit in on the set of a post-apocalyptic movie, the so-called plume team spent three weeks trekking across fields of recently-cooled lava and travelling around the Big Island to collect hundreds of samples in order to shed light
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