Pacific Ocean Science and Technology 802
1680 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-6182
Fax: (808) 956-9152

Dean: Brian Taylor
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Charles H. Fletcher, III
Associate Dean for Research: Alexander N. Shor

General Information

The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) was established in 1988. It combines and integrates the Departments of Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Sciences (formerly Geology and Geophysics), Ocean and Resources Engineering, and Oceanography, as well as the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute, and Pacific Biosciences Research Center. The Sea Grant and Space Grant College Programs, Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory, and Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, all jointly supported by state and federal funds, are also part of SOEST. In 1997, the International Pacific Research Center was established in SOEST under the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda. The center is jointly supported by the state, Japanese, and federal funds.

Baccalaureate degree programs are offered in the Departments of Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Oceanography. Information on entrance and degree requirements for all SOEST graduate programs (MS and PhD) in atmospheric sciences, earth and planetary sciences (formerly geology and geophysics), ocean and resources engineering, and oceanography is in this Catalog. Candidates for advanced degrees and the graduate certificate program apply through the Graduate Division of UH Manoa. The school has developed a number of interdisciplinary courses at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels, which are listed under OEST within the “Courses” section of the Catalog.


The mission of SOEST is to make UH Manoa a leading center in ocean and earth science and technology. Scientists and engineers of SOEST intend to understand the subtle and complex interrelationships of the sea, the atmosphere, and Earth in order to learn how to sustainably enhance the quality of our lives and to bring to Hawai‘i an enrichment of intellect and culture along with technological advances well suited to the needs of these islands. To that end, the objectives of SOEST are as follows:

  1. Enhance educational opportunities in ocean and earth science and technology for the people of Hawai‘i, the nation, and the Pacific Basin;
  2. Accelerate the growth of UH Manoa to preeminence in research and development in ocean and earth science and technology;
  3. Build the strength of UH Manoa for public service and outreach in the Pacific Basin; and
  4. Provide a foundation for economic interaction and development of marine-related industries within the State of Hawai‘i.


Bachelor’s Degrees: BS in atmospheric sciences, BA in environmental earth science, BA in environmental earth science with an earth science education track, BS in earth sciences, BS in global environmental science: environmental anthropology track, environmental health sciences track, environmental planning track, sustainability science track, sustainability tourism track

Master’s Degrees: MS in atmospheric sciences, MS in earth and planetary sciences, MS in marine biology, MS in ocean and resources engineering, MS in oceanography

Doctoral Degrees: PhD in atmospheric sciences, PhD in earth and planetary sciences, PhD in marine biology, PhD in ocean and resources engineering, PhD in oceanography


Director of Student Services: Heather Saito
SOEST Student Academic Services
2525 Correa Road, HIG 135
Honolulu HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8763
Fax: (808) 956-9987
Web: soest.academics.htm

New Students. A multi-day orientation for new students is held each fall semester before classes begin. Incoming students should contact the Student Academic Services Office in HIG 135 to schedule an appointment for pre-advising prior to registering and for more information.

All undergraduate majors in SOEST are assigned to an advisor in their major upon admission into the school. Mandatory advising for all majors takes place every semester prior to the next semester’s registration. All students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisors throughout each semester to discuss their educational and personal goals and to formulate an academic plan to attain those goals.

Program goals: To create and develop a teaching-learning relationship between the advisor/advisee to implement the advisee’s educational plan toward his or her intended degree.

Advising mission: SOEST values and promotes collaborative relations between academic advisors, faculty advisors, and students to implement a personal education plan that is consistent with the student’s goal.

Mandatory advising is required from semester of entry through graduation.

Undergraduate Programs

Application to the following programs are accepted by the Admissions Office: the BS in atmospheric sciences, the BA in environmental earth science, the BS in earth sciences, and the BS in global environmental science.

School Requirements

  1. Successful completion of OEST 100–The College Experience;
  2. Completion of basic course work as specified by their degree programs;
  3. Completion of requirements for the major;
  4. Completion of 45 upper division credit hours (courses numbered 300 and above);
  5. GPA of 2.0 (C average) for all UH Manoa registered credits;
  6. GPA of 2.0 (C average) for all courses applied to the major requirements;
  7. Completion of a degree audit (Graduation Worksheet) to the Student Academic Services Office at least two semesters preceding the award of the degree;
  8. Completion of an application for graduation to the Student Academic Services Office in the semester preceding the award of the degree; and
  9. Completion of an exit interview by the Student Academic Services Office.

Multiple Majors/Degree

Students seeking a multiple major/degree must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, submit an application, personal statement and academic plan, in addition to meeting with a SOEST academic advisor. Students desiring to add a SOEST major/degree as their secondary major/degree, must successfully complete the introductory course for the SOEST major with a C or better and started math course work. Course work used towards a major/minor/certificate in the first degree cannot be used to satisfy major/minor/certificate requirements in the second degree, unless specific courses are required in both.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Second degree students must earn a minimum of 30 credits in courses taken at UH Manoa after admission as a second baccalaureate degree candidate while continuously enrolled in the school. Course work used towards a major/minor/certificate in the first degree cannot be used to satisfy major requirements in the second degree, unless specific courses are required in both.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees Requirements

  1. Courses required by UH Manoa Undergraduate General Education Requirements; and
  2. Support science requirements from mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics vary with degree programs and all courses may have prerequisites. Note that introductory chemistry and mathematics courses have placement exams.

BA and BS degree candidates are required to consult with the departmental advisor before registering.

Major Requirements

See appropriate departments for specific major requirements leading to a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree.

Graduate Programs

See appropriate departments for specific major requirements leading to MS and PhD degrees.

Instructional and Research Facilities

Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology

The Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) conducts geological, geochemical, geophysical, oceanographic, acoustic, and atmospheric research, as well as remote sensing research, in Earth, space (includes moons, comets, and asteroids), and marine sciences. Programs embrace research and advanced training in marine geology and geophysics, small satellite development and launch, infrasound, materials science and high-pressure mineral geophysics, evolution of the Solar System, seismology and solid Earth geophysics, planetary geology, meteoritics, volcanology, rock magnetism, geodetics, and petrology. The institute maintains various specialized facilities in support of its research endeavors such as a secondary ion mass spectrometry lab and advanced electron microscopy lab and has a number of instrument development programs. Other instrument development programs include hyperspectral imagers, Raman spectrometers, and small satellites. HIGP includes the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium, which runs a wide variety of education and fellowship programs at the K-12, undergraduate, and professional levels in the form of workforce development and also provides outreach to the Hawai‘i community. HIGP is also the home of the Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center, and maintains several websites for the community, including “Planetary Science Research Discoveries” and the “Hawai‘i MODVOLC Near Real-time Thermal Monitoring of Global Hot-spots.”

Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) was established on the island of Moku O Lo‘e in 1965 when its name was changed from the Hawai‘i Marine Laboratory. The institute is responsible for providing leadership and support for studies in the marine environment, particularly coral reefs. It provides facilities and services for faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and visiting scholars for research and education in marine biology and related topics. The core faculty, plus many from other UH departments, study the life processes of marine organisms including plants, animals, and microbes. Research at HIMB covers a broad range of topics including coral reef biology and ecology, the behavior, physiology and sensory systems of marine mammals, tropical aquaculture, the behavior of reef fish, shark ecology and sensory systems, fish endocrinology, pollution and management of marine ecosystems, coastal biogeochemical processes, fisheries, and bioengineering and genetics.

HIMB is unique in that it has modern molecular biology laboratories and immediate access to the reef, Kane‘ohe Bay, and deep ocean waters. It is located on Moku O Lo‘e (Coconut Island) in Kane‘ohe Bay (on the east coast of O‘ahu), providing a unique setting for graduate-level topics courses and field-trip demonstration opportunities. Kane‘ohe Bay has many healthy coral reefs. The 28 acre island, located within a 30 minute drive distance from UH Manoa campus, is surrounded by a 64 acre coral reef dedicated to scientific research. Facilities at the marine laboratory include research vessels and skiffs, protected harbors, a pelagic fish laboratory; Hawaiian fish ponds, aquaria and tanks; a flow-through seawater system; remote environmental monitoring capabilities; reef microcosm systems; a wide array of computerized analytical and acoustic equipment; a floating marine mammal research complex; a functional genomics facility; and the Barbara Pauley Pagen Library and classrooms.

Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) was established by the Legislature in 1974 to develop renewable energy resources and technologies to reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, was given a broader mandate by the Hawai‘i Legislature (ACT 253 in 2006) to also demonstrate and deploy efficient energy end-use technologies and to coordinate closely with the state’s energy resource coordinator. Today, with funding from state and federal agencies as well as industry, HNEI conducts basic and applied research on a wide range of topics to address society’s critical energy and environmental problems. Current research includes hydrogen fuel cells, ocean energy and resources, fuels and high value products derived from biomass, photovoltaics, and batteries and electric vehicles. The institute conducts studies and assessments to support policy development and conducts testing and evaluation of emerging energy generation, grid enabling, and energy efficiency technologies. Many of these activities are conducted under public/private partnerships managed by the institute, with the goal of supporting increased penetration of renewable technologies onto the electrical grid systems.

Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium

The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium (HSGC) is a wide-ranging community educational program supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that promotes studies in scientific fields related to space. These fields include astronomy, geology, meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and life sciences. Affiliate campuses are UH Hilo, UH Maui College, all six community colleges within the UH System, and the University of Guam. Some of the programs supported by HSGC include undergraduate fellowship and traineeship programs (approximately 10-20 students per semester are supported); related-Future Flight Hawai‘i Programs for teachers, school students, and their parents; teacher workshops; undergraduate remote-sensing classes; an undergraduate telescope classes facility; a CanSat project geared for community college students to create a satellite similar to UH Manoa’s own CubeSat project; an undergraduate internship program awarded for students to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related research at local businesses; and outreach to state and federal agencies related to the use of satellite and aircraft remote-sensing data. Significant goals of the program is to promote STEM education through cooperative and interdisciplinary programs to encourage research while recruiting and training the next diverse workforce. Students, teachers, and researchers in Hawai‘i are encouraged to contact the UH Manoa HSGC office at (808) 956-3138 to learn more about the opportunities.

International Pacific Research Center

The International Pacific Research Center was established in 1997 under the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective. Its mission is to provide an international, state-of-the-art research environment to improve understanding of the nature and predictability of climate variability in the Asia-Pacific sector, including regional aspects of global environmental change.

Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

The Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) was created in 1977 through a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and UH Manoa to conduct research of mutual interest. The principal research interests of JIMAR are ecosystem forecasting, ecosystem monitoring, ecosystembased management, protection and restoration of resources, equatorial oceanography, climate research and impacts, tropical meteorology, and tsunamis and other long-period ocean waves.

Pacific Biosciences Research Center

The Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) is an organized research unit that supports interdisciplinary biological/biomedical research and training in basic and applied areas with particular relevance to Hawai‘i. Current research is focused on cellular, developmental and molecular biology, Hawaiian evolutionary biology and conservation, and neurobehavioral biology; the unit has implemented plans for a more cohesive focus on biodiversity. PBRC maintains core research support facilities in molecular biology (supporting genomics and bioinformatics) and in confocal and electron microscopy that serve the entire UH Manoa campus and the state. PBRC fosters undergraduate and graduate research training through the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education and Partnership for Advanced Marine and Environmental Science Training for Pacific Islanders (ATE), and through the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC U*STAR) honors undergraduate program funded by the National Institutes of Health. PBRC administers the Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology and the Center for Conservation and Research Training on the UH Manoa campus and the Kewalo Marine Laboratory off-campus.

Sea Grant College Program

The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (Hawai‘i Sea Grant) is a unit of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This partnership is facilitated by the National Sea Grant Office in Silver Spring, MD and 32 additional Sea Grant College programs throughout the coastal U.S., Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Hawai‘i Sea Grant’s mission is to provide integrated research, extension, and education activities that increase citizens’ understanding and responsible use of our ocean and coastal resources, and support the informed personal, policy, and management decisions that are integral to realizing this vision in Hawai‘i and the US affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).

Hawai‘i Sea Grant currently has five focus areas including Resilient Communities and Economies, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Healthy Coastal Ecosystems and Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development. These focus areas, which are shared with the National Sea Grant College Program are articulated in Hawai‘i and the Pacific through the organization and implementation of six Hawai‘i Sea Grant Centers of Excellence. These centers are a unique structure within the Sea Grant network and include: Center for Smart Building and Community Design, Center for Sustainable Coastal Tourism, Center for Marine Science Education, Center for Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience, Center for Integrated Science, Knowledge, and Culture, and the Center for Water Resource Sustainability. These centers foster the development of resilient, economically and socially inclusive, sustainable coastal communities that function within the capacity of their habitats and ecosystems. By partnering with diverse schools and colleges through joint faculty positions and other synergistic relationships, Hawai‘i Sea Grant brings the full force of the university’s knowledge and human resources to serve Hawai‘i’s citizens and decision makers to a far greater degree than our federal funding alone can support. The centers are interdisciplinary and are vehicles that build links throughout the university and engage the best and brightest to address the critical issues facing our state and region. The centers also play a central role in defining the Hawai‘i Sea Grant research agenda by identifying knowledge gaps that directly impact a coastal community’s well-being.