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

Interim Dean: Charles H. Fletcher, III
Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Judy Lemus
Interim Associate Dean for Research: Darren Lerner

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, 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, and Cooperative 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 (Master’s and PhD) in atmospheric sciences, earth and planetary sciences (formerly geology and geophysics), marine biology, 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 Mānoa. 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 Mānoa 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 Mānoa to preeminence in research and development in ocean and earth science and technology;
  3. Build the strength of UH Mānoa 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: general, basic science and research, environmental and hydrology, geophysics and tectonics, planetary science, and volcano science concentrations; BS in global environmental science: environmental health sciences track, environmental planning track, sustainability science track, and general 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 131B
Honolulu HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8763
Fax: (808) 956-9987

New Students. An orientation for new students is held each fall semester before classes begin. Incoming students should contact the Student Academic Services Office in HIG 131B 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 college and major 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 their 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 Mānoa registered credits;
  6. GPA of 2.0 (C average) for all courses applied to the major requirements;
  7. Completion of an application for graduation to the Office of the Registrar in the semester preceding the award of the degree; and
  8. Completion of an exit interview by the Student Academic Services Office.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees Requirements

  1. Courses required by UH Mānoa 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

Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

CIMAR was created in 1977 as the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) and was one of the first of now eighteen Cooperative Institutes between academic and non-profit research institutions across the U.S. and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). CIMAR’s mission is to support research that is necessary for understanding and predicting environmental change in the Pacific Islands Region, for conserving and managing coastal and marine resources in island environments, notably the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and for supporting the region’s economic, social, and environmental needs. CIMAR seeks to:

CIMAR seeks to:

  • facilitate innovative collaborative research between scientists at NOAA and the University of Hawai‘i;
  • provide educational opportunities for basic and applied research in the Life and Earth Sciences at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels;
  • advance interactions through the support of visiting scientists and post-doctoral scholars; and,
  • promote the transition of research outcomes to operational products and services that benefit the Pacific Islands Region.

As a unit within SOEST, CIMAR maintains a service mission to the State as well as to the Pacific Islands Region. SOEST centers of excellence in marine, atmospheric, and earth sciences align well with the mission interests of NOAA. The university also provides capacity for social science research via several academic units. CIMAR serves as a bridge to facilitate collaboration between NOAA in the Pacific Region and these academic research and educational units.

The principal NOAA Line Office for CIMAR is the National Marine Fisheries Service. A majority of CIMAR staff are integrated closely with its Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) at NOAA’s Inouye Regional Center (IRC) at Pearl Harbor, Oahu. The ~100 CIMAR scientists, engineers, economists and sociologists within PIFSC work within PIFSC across over a dozen joint NOAA-CIMAR projects encompassing coral reef ecosystem monitoring and modeling, marine mammal and turtle research, human dimensions investigations, economics of fisheries, and more.

CIMAR-supported scientists also interface with other NOAA Line Offices including the National Weather Service, the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, and the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, all of which support projects in the CIMAR research themes of oceanographic monitoring and forecasting, climate science and impacts, air-sea interactions, and tsunamis and other long-period ocean waves.

Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology

The Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) solves fundamental problems in Earth and Planetary Science by the invention, development, and application of state-of-the-art instrumentation, exploration, measurement, and data analysis technologies and techniques. Programs embrace research and education in small satellite (and CubeSat) technologies (including payload, spacecraft, and mission design, fabrication, test, and launch) for exploration of the Earth and planets; in-situ analysis of extra-terrestrial materials from comets, asteroids, meteorites and planetary sample return to study the evolution of the Solar System; remote spectroscopic measurements of the surface and atmospheres of the planets and moons of our Solar System, including Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, and Titan; invention and fabrication of hyperspectral imagers, RAMAN/LIBS spectrometers, and other instruments to make those measurements; materials science and mineral physics for characterizing the properties of materials under extreme conditions; geological and geophysical processes of importance to the State of Hawai‘i, including seismic, volcanic, and tsunami hazards, as well as programs related to the water and energy security of Hawai‘i (the Hawaii Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center). HIGP maintains state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation to support this work, including the Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory (a collaborative venture with the College of Engineering), the W.M. Keck Cosmochemistry Laboratory, the Advanced Electron Microscopy Center, and the InfraSound Laboratory.

HIGP faculty contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching on campus, and HIGP offers an undergraduate certificate in “Earth and Planetary Exploration Technology,” which provides science and engineering majors with the skills required to design satellite missions to explore our Solar System.

HIGP includes the Hawai‘i NASA Space Grant Consortium, which provides a variety of education and fellowship programs at K12, undergraduate, graduate and professional levels to support workforce development in Hawai‘i and outreach to the local community. These events reach over 20,000 students, parents, and teachers each year.

Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

The mission of Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) is to be a global hub with a local focus for cutting-edge science, technology, and education aimed at understanding and conserving tropical marine and coastal ecosystems. The Institute’s principal facilities and operations are located on Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island), a 29-acre island surrounded by a coral reef in Kāne‘ohe Bay on the windward side of the island of O‘ahu, about 15 miles from the UH Mānoa campus. The research, education, and service programs at HIMB currently encompass basic and applied aspects of tropical marine biology, coral reef ecology, and marine science education research and curriculum development, including areas of emphasis in the following six sub-disciplines: 1) tropical coral reef and estuarine biophysical and biogeographical research; 2) coral reef physiology, ecology, evolution, and biodiversity; 3) fisheries research; 4) population, spatial and behavioral ecology of marine megafauna; 5) Indigenous resource management and multiple ways of knowing; and 6) place-based marine education and community outreach. The Institute has just completed a $40 million renovation of its facilities to accommodate growing research and education programs, and in support of approximately 200 employees, including 27 research and education faculty.

Committed to the UH Mānoa’s strategic priority and institutional goal of becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning, HIMB has a deep engagement with, and commitment to, its neighborhood educational and non-profit organization partners, including but not limited to the Windward Community College, the Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, Ko‘olau Foundation, Paepae o He‘eia, Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi, The Pacific American Foundation, and the Kāne‘ohe and Kahalu‘u Neighborhood Boards. In collaboration with many of these partners, HIMB serves as administrative lead for the He‘eia National Estuarine Research Reserve which encompasses approximately 1,400 acres of estuary, coastal wetland, and ocean environments, including Moku o Lo‘e. UH Mānoa is a land-, sea-, space-, and sun-grant institution with an enrollment of approximately 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students. In addition to its own faculty and staff, HIMB sponsors affiliated faculty from other UH campuses, scientists from federal and state agencies, short-term visiting scientists, and adjunct faculty. HIMB promotes an inclusive, safe learning environment that emphasizes equity and reciprocity in research and knowledge inquiry.

Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) was created in 1974 to facilitate the development of the State’s natural energy resources and to reduce fossil fuel use in Hawai‘i. In 2007, the Hawai‘i Legislature established HNEI in state law with an expanded mandate to coordinate with state and federal agencies; and to demonstrate and deploy renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction technologies. With funding from the state, federal agencies, and industry; HNEI conducts research, testing and evaluation, and analysis to address a range of society’s critical energy and environmental challenges. Active areas of research include hydrogen fuel cells, ocean energy and resources, fuels and high value products derived from bioresources, photovoltaics, energy storage, advanced grid technology, energy policy, and sustainable energy systems. Institute studies directly support Hawai‘i’s legislated mandate to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2045. HNEI is also active across the Asia-Pacific region, bringing technical, regulatory and policy knowledge to support development of reliable and sustainable energy systems in the region. Institute personnel support its educational mission through teaching and support of graduate students across a broad sector of the university.

Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium

The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium (HSGC) is a wideranging 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 Mānoa’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 Mānoa HSGC office at (808) 956-3138 to learn more about the opportunities.

International Pacific Research Center

The International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) was established in 1997 under the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective. Its mission is to provide an international research environment dedicated to improving mankind’s understanding of the nature and predictability of climate variability and change in the Asia-Pacific sector, and to developing innovative ways to utilize knowledge gained for the benefit of society

Pacific Biosciences Research Center

The Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) is an organized research unit with a rich history of interdisciplinary research, training, education and outreach activities focused on the unique opportunities found in Hawai‘i and throughout the Pacific. The PBRC mission is to foster collaborative and innovative new directions in organismal biology from molecules to ecosystems. Current research areas are focused on molecular, cellular, neurobehavioral, developmental, physiological, evolutionary and conservation biology. PBRC core research facilities, the Biological Electron and Confocal Microscopy Facility, the Microbial Genomics and Analytical Laboratory, the Insectary for Scientific Training and Advances in Research, and the Murine Metabolic Phenotyping Core, serve the UH Mānoa campus and the state. The facilities provide training workshops for students and researchers in advanced technologies. Educational opportunities include undergraduate and graduate student participation in faculty-led research programs, sponsorship of independent research projects, and extramurally-funded training programs such as the National Science Foundation-funded Advanced Technological Education and Partnership for Advanced Marine and Environmental Science Training for Pacific Islanders, and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs.

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 Mānoa 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 33 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 the sustainability of our ocean and coastal resources, increase the resilience of our communities and support the informed personal, policy, and management decisions that are integral to realizing this vision in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).

Hawai‘i Sea Grant currently has four 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, Ulana ‘Ike, and the Pacific Region Aquaculture and Coastal Resource Hub. 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 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.