Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Fall 2015


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015


Copyright @ 2015 Justin Elwonger


While there has been significant research done on public perceptions of volcanoes and volcanic hazards, there are gaps in the literature in both studies regarding perceptions of earthquakes and seismic hazards as well as comparative studies on perceptions between tectonically active and inactive areas. This is an exploratory study that aims to lay the groundwork to help fill in some of these gaps. A free-response survey instrument was developed and deployed to populations of college students in Nebraska and Hawaii. Overall, responses showed that the types of perceptions in both locations are quite similar, but the frequency that those perceptions are held differ. Future work involves developing a multiple choice instrument based on the data gathered in this study that will then be deployed to a broader demographic.