POST 701
1680 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7640
Fax: (808) 956-5512


*Graduate Faculty

*G. T. Apuzen-Ito, PhD (Chair)—marine geophysics and geodynamics
*T. Anderson, PhD—coastal geology
*S. Coats, PhD—climate dynamics, paleoclimate
*H. Dulai, PhD—coastal hydrology and groundwater geochemistry
*R. A. Dunn, PhD—marine geophysics and seismology
*D. Eason, PhD—igneous petrology, volcanology, marine geology
*C. H. Fletcher, PhD—coastal geology
*E. J. Gaidos, PhD—geobiology, planetary science
*C. R. Glenn, PhD—coastal groundwater, environmental geochemistry, marine sediments
*J. E. Hammer, PhD—igneous petrology, volcanology and experimental petrology
*B. F. Houghton, PhD—volcanic hazards and society
*H. Janiszewski, PhD—seismology, volcanology, marine geophysics
P. Jiang, PhD—minerology, micro-geochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology
H. H. Kane, PhD—coastal geology, geoecology
*A. J. Pietruszka, PhD—igneous geochemistry
*B. N. Popp, PhD—isotopic biogeochemistry
*G. E. Ravizza, PhD—paleoceanography and marine geochemistry
*S. K. Rowland, PhD—volcanology, Hawaiian geology, remote sensing
S. J. Rowley, PhD—marine biology
*K. H. Rubin, PhD—geochemistry, environmental chemistry, volcanology
*T. Shea, PhD—physical volcanology and igneous petrology
*B. R. Smith-Konter, PhD—crustal deformation and planetary tectonics

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

J. Boro, PhD—electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA), volcanology, magmatic processes, experimental petrology
D. Bottjer-Wilson, PhD—biogeochemistry
B. Bruno, PhD—planetary volcanology and geoscience education
R. Butler, PhD—seismology
B. Chen, PhD—mineral physics, mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry
P. Dera, PhD—mineral physics, mineralogy, petrology, crystallography
E. Dobrica, PhD—cosmochemistry, hydrothermal experiments
M. H. Edwards, PhD—marine geology and geophysics
P. Englert, PhD—nuclear chemistry, planetary geoscience, remote sensing
J. Engels, PhD—community-engaged research
S. A. Fagents, PhD—planetary volcanology
L. Flynn, PhD—remote sensing of fires and volcanoes
J. Foster, PhD—marine, volcano, tectonic geodesy, GPS meteorology
M. A. Garcés, PhD—infrasound, wave propagation, volcanology
E. Herrero-Bervera, PhD—paleomagnetism, geomagnetism
G. R. Huss, PhD—cosmochemistry, early solar system chronology
A. N. Krot, PhD—meteorites, planetary geosciences
N. Lautze, PhD—water and geothermal resources; physical volconology
S. Li, PhD—planetary geology, spectroscopy, volcanology
P. G. Lucey, PhD—planetary geosciences, remote sensing
M. H. Manghnani, PhD—high-pressure geophysics, mineral physics
F. Martinez, PhD—marine geophysics
A. Misra, PhD—LIBS and fluorescence, material science
K. Nagashima, PhD—ion microprobe analysis, cosmochemistry
K. Ruttenberg, PhD—biogeochemistry, marine geochemistry
S. K. Sharma, PhD—Raman and IR spectroscopy in geochemistry
D. Thomas, PhD—groundwater and hydrothermal systems
D. Trang, PhD—planetary geomorphology, planetary remote sensing
Y. Tsang, PhD—ecohydrology
R. Wright, PhD—volcanology
F. Zhu, PhD—space systems, autonomy, dynamics and controls

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

C. Bina, PhD—mineralogy
D. F. Blake, PhD—mineral physics
J. Bradley, PhD—analytical electron microscopy in materials and astromaterials science
B. Brooks, PhD—geophysics
R. J. Carey, PhD—physical volcanology
E. S. Costello, PhD—planetary geology
R. T. Downs, PhD—mineralogy, mineral physics
K. A. Falinski, PhD—environmental science
A. G. Frazier, PhD—geography
J. Gillis-Davis, PhD—planetary geosciences, remote sensing
A. M. Goodliffe, PhD—marine geophysics
N. Grobbe, PhD—(hydro-)geophysics, seismic, electromagnetic, volcanoes, groundwater, inverse problems
H. Ishii, PhD—cosmochemistry, small solar system bodies, electron microscopy
W. W. Kuhne, PhD—radiobiology
K. M. Larson, PhD—geodesy
G. McMurtry, PhD—chemical volcanology
M. Patrick, PhD—volcanology
C. Shuler, PhD—hydrology
J. Taddeucci, PhD—volcanology
B. Taylor, PhD—plate tectonics, geology of ocean margin basins (retired)
T. Thordarson, PhD—volcanology
R. Whittier, MS—hydrologic modeling, ground water

Degrees Offered: BA in environmental earth science, BA in environmental earth science with an earth science education track, BS in earth sciences (including minor), MS in earth and planetary sciences, PhD in earth and planetary sciences

The Academic Program

The Department of Earth Sciences (ERTH) (formerly Geology and Geophysics (GG)) is dedicated to the scientific study of the exterior and interior of the Earth and other planetary bodies. Sub-disciplines within the department are many, and offer rich opportunities for multidisciplinary study of problems of great intellectual and practical importance. Coastal geologists study processes such as sedimentation and beach erosion, reef growth and degradation, and sea level change. Hydrologists and Hydrogeochemists study the cycling of fresh water between the atmosphere, land, and ocean. Of particular emphasis is how climate change impacts this cycle; how fresh water supplies are impacted by human activities, including land-use practices and the introduction of contaminants into surface and groundwater; and how climate, hydrologic, and terrestrial processes impact the ocean and its ecosystems by way of surface water and submarine groundwater discharge. Engineering geologists provide geotechnical recommendations affecting the design, construction, and operation of engineering projects based on Earth material properties, geological structures, and processes such as faulting, landslides, erosion, and flooding. Mineralogists and petrologists examine the temperature, pressure, and environmental conditions that influence the formation of minerals and rocks, constrain the origins of magmas, and study many of the processes that influence the style of volcanic eruptions. Geochemists specialize in the chemistry of Earth materials to understand a very broad range of subjects including the make-up of the deep Earth, the formation of the seafloor, the origin of volcanoes, as well as past and present changes in Earth’s climate, ocean environment, and life. Volcanologists study how gas, fluid, and magma interact to create different types of volcanic eruptions, study the dynamics of active eruptions; characterize pre-historic eruptions through the study of volcaniclastic deposits; and address hazard mitigation. Geophysicists use seismic waves, potential fields, sonar, radar, and GPS for studying earthquakes, Earth’s surface and internal structure, land deformation, and plate tectonics. They also use mathematics, continuum mechanics, and high performance computing to model Earth and planetary processes. Planetary scientists examine how the Earth and Solar System formed, study past and present active processes on planetary bodies, search for extrasolar planets, and explore planetary conditions needed for life.

Undergraduate and graduate students in the department are instructed and advised by world-class researchers in a variety of the above sub-disciplines. Students participate in a diverse course curriculum involving in-class instruction, laboratory activities, fieldwork, and shipboard exercises. They have access to state-of-the-art facilities including a number of different types of mass spectrometers, an electron microprobe, an X-ray diffraction laboratory, and high-performance computing facilities. Field trips take students to volcanoes in Hawai‘i and other islands, as well as on the U.S. mainland and around the world. Students also participate in research cruises onboard research vessels operated by SOEST. Students who are involved in research projects regularly present their findings in scientific conferences and journal publications. These varied activities allow students to take full advantage of Hawai‘i’s unique geographic location and its rich geologic and environmental setting.

Students graduate from the Department of Earth Sciences with an in-depth understanding of the relevance of the geosciences to society, especially in Hawai‘i and on Pacific islands, as well as the ways human civilization impacts the Earth and environment. Students are able to use skills in math, physics, chemistry, and biology as well as technical knowledge in computer applications, laboratory methods, and field techniques for solving real-world problems in the geosciences. Graduates know how to ethically apply the scientific method and can use basic principles in geoscience for explaining natural phenomena. Our graduates develop proficiency in communicating their knowledge in oral presentations and in writing professional documents. As a result, our majors are very successful in obtaining jobs in fields within or closely related to the geosciences. These fields include environmental assessment and remediation, engineering, geotechnical consulting, oil, natural gas and mineral resources development; water resource management; science education; as well as applied and basic research.


Undergraduate students contemplating a major or minor in earth sciences should contact the SOEST Student Academic Services in HIG 131B (808) 956-8763. The two undergraduate advisors can be contacted through the department office (808) 956-7640, Graduate students are appointed a faculty advisor upon admittance into the program.

Undergraduate Study

BA in Environmental Earth Science, General Track


The General track of the BA degree in environmental earth science is appropriate for students interested in Earth Science but not necessarily intending to pursue graduate school. It is more flexible than the BS program. The BA degree requires completion of 120 credit hours of course work, the equivalent of four years of full-time study. A minimum grade of C (not C-) must be achieved in each class in the major and in all support classes.

This BA degree is geared toward students who plan to enter the environmental and geotechnical fields upon graduation. It includes a combination of traditional geology topics such as field methods and sedimentology, as well as more applied topics such as hydrogeology, geospatial information, and environmental geochemistry. Students interested in Coastal Geology, Geologic Hazards, or Geotechnical Training can opt for a curated set of electives that will provide focused content on these topics.

The General track of the BA requires 45-47 credits in the earth sciences curriculum. This includes one introductory level ERTH course with a lab, nine non-introductory ERTH courses, TPSS 304, and a two-credit seminar, and at least 9 additional credits of approved electives in ERTH or other departments. With the advice and consent of an undergraduate advisor, courses in other natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering may be substituted as electives. Required support classes include physics, chemistry, biological sciences, and one semester of college calculus; these total 24-25 credits and should be taken as early as possible.

Earth Science and Other Courses

  • Required Courses (27 credits)
    • ERTH 101 Dynamic Earth (3), or 103 Geology of the Hawaiian Islands (3), or 104 Volcanoes in the Sea (3), or 106 Humans and the Environment (3), or 130 Geologic Hazards
    • ERTH 101L Dynamic Earth Laboratory (1)
    • ERTH 200 Geological Inquiry (4) or ERTH 201 Climate Change (3)
    • ERTH 303 Natural Hazards & Geomechanics (3)
    • ERTH 305 Geological Field Methods (3)
    • ERTH 309 Sedimentology Processes and Environments (4)
    • ERTH 333 Earth Materials and Structures (4)
    • ERTH 410 Undergraduate Seminar (2)
    • ERTH 425 Environmental Geochemistry (3)
    • ERTH 455 Hydrogeology (4)
    • ERTH 461 Geospatial Information (3) or GEO 388 (3) or NREM 477 (4)
    • TPSS 304 Introduction to Soil Science (3)
  • Science Electives (9 credits)
    • All Upper Division ERTH, EPET, ATMO, or OCN courses plus GEO 370, 405; NREM 301, 302; PEPS 451; PLAN 414; POLS 380 will satisfy elective degree requirements
  • Curated lists of electives are as follows:
    • Coastal Geology: OCN 201 + Lab (note, not upper-division), OCN 320; ERTH 420; and GEO 370, NREM 301
    • Geotechnical Training: ERTH 306; GEO 412; NREM 301, PEPS 451
    • College Physics (PHYS 151/151L, 152/152L)
    • Biological Sciences (BIOL 171, BOT 101, MICR 130, OEST 103, ZOOL 101, OCN 102, or GES 102)
    • Geologic Hazards: ERTH 300, 402; GEO 370; PLAN 414
  • Required Support Courses (24 credits)
    • Biological Sciences ((BE 120, BIOC 441, BIOL 171, BOT 101, MICR 130, NREM 210, 251, OEST 103, ZOOL 101, 200, or OCN 102)
    • General Chemistry (CHEM 161/161L, 162/162L)
    • Calculus I (MATH 215 or 241)
    • College Physics (PHYS 151/151L, 152/152L)
  • The College Experience (OEST 100)

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to programsheets/.

BA in Environmental Earth Science, Earth Science Education Track

The Earth Science Education track is for students who want to become excellent middle school and high school Earth Science teachers. This track is part of a 5-year BAP (Bachelors and Post Baccalaureate) degree program whereby students in their 3rd year are admitted to the College of Education’s Post- Baccalaureate Certificate in Teacher Education (PBCTE) program. Upon completion of the 4th year of the BA and then the 1-year Post-Baccalaureate program, students will be certified as teachers for the Hawai‘i State Department of Education. Science course work covers earth sciences, meteorology, oceanography, astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics.

This BA track requires 33 or 34 credits in the earth sciences, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences curriculum, including introductory level ERTH and ATMO courses with labs, non-introductory ERTH, ATMO, and OCN courses, a two-credit seminar, and at least 12 credits of approved upper division science electives. The track also includes 15 credits of Education courses that cover methods of learning, teaching practicum, and education psychology. If a student decides to opt out of the PBCTE program, s/he can replace the Education courses with upper-division science electives, and earn only the Environmental Earth Sciences – Earth Science Education BA degree. Required support classes include physics, chemistry, biology, and one semester of college calculus; these total 29 credits and should be taken as early as possible.

Earth Sciences and Other Courses

  • Required Courses (49 or 48 credits)
    • ERTH 101 Dynamic Earth (3), or 103 Geology of the Hawaiian Islands (3), or 104 Volcanoes in the Sea (3), or 106 Humans and the Environment (3), or 130 Geologic Hazards
    • ERTH 101L Dynamic Earth Laboratory (1)
    • ERTH 105 Voyage through the Solar System (3) or ASTR 110 Survey of Astronomy (3)
    • ERTH 200 Geological Inquiry (4) or ERTH 201 Climate Change (3)
    • ERTH 305 Geological Field Methods (3)
    • ERTH 333 Earth Materials and Structures (4)
    • OCN 310 Global Environmental Change (3)
    • EDEF 310 Education in American Society (3)
    • EDEP 311 Introduction to Educational Psychology (3)
    • ERTH 410 Undergraduate Seminar (2)
    • ATMO 101/101L Introduction to Weather and Climate/Lab (3)/(1)
    • ATMO 200 Atmospheric Processes and Phenomena (3)
    • OCN 201/201L Science of the Sea (3)/(1)
    • OCN 310 Global Environmental Change (3)
    • STE 401 Principles & Methods of Literacies Within andand Across the Disciplines (6-12)
    • STE 402N Teaching Practicum (3)
    • STE 440 Multicultural and Social Justice Education (3)
  • Science Electives (12 credits)
    • All upper division ERTH, EPET, ATMO, or OCN course, plus GEO 370, 388, 405; NREM 301, 302, 477; PEPS 451; PLAN 414; POLS 380; TPSS 304
  • Required Support Courses (29 credits)
    • Introduction to Biology I (BIOL 171/171L)
    • Introduction to Biology II (BIOL 172/172L
    • General Chemistry (CHEM 161/161L, 162/162L)
    • Calculus I (MATH 215 or 241)
    • College Physics (PHYS 151/151L, 152/152L)
    • The College Experience (OEST 100)

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to programsheets/.

BS in Earth Sciences, Six Concentrations


This BS degree is designed for students interested in pursuing graduate work or employment in the geosciences. It provides essential grounding in the computational, analytical, and field competencies observational skills needed in the modern Earth Sciences academic and workforce realms, and it develops skills in written and oral communication, problem solving, and teamwork. The program offers the opportunity for students to develop specialized knowledge in disciplinary concentrations (in Geophysics & Tectonics, Environmental & Hydrology, Volcano Science, and Planetary Science) or to tailor the degree for an individualized learning experience, under the aegis of a General concentration. It is also possible to pursue an advanced level of independent study with a guided Research concentration. All concentrations in the program are interdisciplinary and integrate chemistry, physics, mathematics, and life sciences.

Depending on the concentration, a total of 25-31 credits are required in the earth sciences core curriculum, including one introductory level geology course with a lab, nine ERTH courses, and a two-credit research seminar. There are 4-15 credits of science electives. Students are strongly encouraged to take a summer field course as an elective. An undergraduate thesis is also encouraged but not required. The required supporting science classes (29-34 credits) include physics, chemistry, biological science, and college calculus, and should be taken as early as possible. A minimum grade of C (not C-) must be achieved in each class of the major and in all support classes.

Earth Sciences Core and Capstone Courses

  • Required ERTH Courses (37 credits)
    • ERTH 101 Dynamic Earth (3), or 103 Geology of the Hawaiian Islands (3), or 104 Volcanoes in the Sea (3), or 106 Humans and the Environment (3), or 130 Geologic Hazards (3)
    • ERTH 101L Dynamic Earth Laboratory (1)
    • ERTH 200 Geological Inquiry (4) or ERTH 201 Climate Change (3)
    • ERTH 250 Scientific Programming (3) or EE 160 Programming for Engineers (4)
    • ERTH 305 Geological Field Methods (3)
    • ERTH 333 Earth Materials and Structures (4)
    • ERTH 410 Undergraduate Seminar (2)
    • ERTH 413 Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis  (3)
    • ERTH 461 Geospatial Information (3) or NREM 477 GIS for Resource Managers (4) or GEO 388 Introduction to GIS (3)
    • ERTH 398 Undergraduate Research in Earth Sciences (3)
    • Required Support Courses (29 credits)
    • Biological Sciences (OCN 102 or any of the following: BE 102; BIOC 441; BIOL 171, BOT 101; MICR 130; NREM 210, 251; OEST 103; ZOOL 101, 200)Required Support Courses (29 credits)
    • Chemistry (CHEM 161/161L, 162/162L
    • Calculus I and II (MATH 241 and 242)
    • Physics (PHYS 170/170L, 272/272L)
    • The College Experience (OEST 100)

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to ovcaa/programsheets/.

Basic Science and Research Concentration

This concentration allows for a more flexible course work program that is tailored to the student’s individual goals. It requires the student to work with an advisor on a research thesis.

To apply for this concentration, the student must have a minimum combined GPA of 3.0 in 34 credits of the required support courses (see below) well as in ERTH 101/103/104/106/130,101L, 200, 201, and 250 (or EE 160). The student must prepare an application that will consist of a one-page statement of the student’s objectives and research interests, presented to an earth sciences departmental undergraduate advisor and the proposed faculty thesis advisor. Acceptance into the research concentration requires the approval of both the faculty advisor and the proposed thesis advisor.

The thesis must be carefully planned and meet departmental requirements. A thesis supervisor and topic should be identified when a student enters the program. The thesis work requires at least 6 (but not more than 9) credit hours of ERTH 499 Undergraduate Thesis. The thesis research is presented in writing, following the style of a scientific article, and orally in a public seminar. The thesis is evaluated by both the research supervisor and a departmental undergraduate advisor.

Course Requirements

  • Required ERTH Courses (22 credits)
    • ERTH 101 Dynamic Earth, or 103 Geology of the Hawaiian Islands, 104 Volcanoes of the Sea, 106 Humans and the Environment, or 130 Geological Hazards (all 3 credits)
    • ERTH 101L Dynamic Earth laboratory
    • ERTH 200 Geological Inquiry (4) or 201 Climate Change (3)
    • ERTH 250 Scientific Programming (3)
    • ERTH 333 Earth Materials and Structures (4)
    • ERTH 398 Undergraduate Research in Earth Sciences (3)
    • ERTH 410 Undergraduate Seminar (2)
    • ERTH 413 Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (3)
    • ERTH 499 Undergraduate Thesis (6)
  • Upper Division ERTH Electives (15 credits) may consist of 300+ level courses in the School of Ocean and Earth may consist of 300+ level courses in the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences as well as selected courses in GEO, NREM, and PEPS (see program sheet and plan template for the complete list), or alternatives approved by the student’s advisor, with one of the following courses strongly recommended: ERTH 461 Geospatial Information or NREM 477 GIS for Resource Managers or GEO 388 Introduction to GIS (all 3 credits).
  • Required Support Courses (34 credits)
    • Biological Sciences: BIOL 171/171L, 172/172L or any of the following totaling 8 credits: BE 102; BIOC 441; BOT 101; MICR 130; NREM 210, 251; OCN 102, OEST 103; ZOOL 101, 200
    • Chemistry: CHEM 161 (3)/161L (1), 162 (3)/162L (1)
    • Calculus I and II: MATH 241 (4) and 242 (4)
    • Physics: PHYS 170 (4)/170L (1), 272 (3)/272L (1)
    • The College Experience (OEST 100)


The minor requires ERTH 101 or 103 or 104 or 106 or 170, 101L (unless 170 is taken), 200, and 11 credits of ERTH courses at the 300 level or higher. A 2.0 GPA is required in all of these courses. The minor is flexible and can provide either an introductory survey of earth sciences or emphasize areas of particular interest to the student. A student interested in a minor in earth sciences should consult with an advisor from the department to tailor a plan best suited to the student’s interest.

Graduate Study

Admission Requirements

All students are urged to have completed a course in a computer programming language before entrance. All applications are due by January 15 for admission in the fall semester or by August 15 for the spring semester.

Any undergraduate deficiencies will be determined from the student’s transcripts and intended field of study, and a plan to address them will be devised at a preliminary conference. ERTH 611 is intended for students entering from a non-geoscience field to prepare them for graduate studies in the geosciences.

The department offers two master’s degrees. The research MS (Plan A) degree emphasizes research and culminates in the public defense of a written thesis. The course work MS (Plan B) degree involves a research project but does not require a thesis. Applicants who are unsure about which MS program to apply should consult with the department prior to applying.

Master’s Degree

Candidates are accepted from undergraduate majors in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Incoming students normally are expected to have completed at least one year each of college mathematics, geology, physics, and chemistry. The adequacy of each applicant’s additional preparation will depend on the particular branch of geology and geophysics being pursued. At the time of application the student should state the field in which he or she intends to study.


For MS students, the graduate chair will determine the suitability of a Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis) pathway at a preliminary conference. Plan A requires a minimum of 30 credits, including 6 credits of ERTH 700 Thesis Research and at least 24 credits of course work (as many as 6 course work credits may be in ERTH 699). Plan B requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work and a final project.

Doctoral Degree


PhD candidates are accepted with either a BS or MS degree. Students without an MS degree must pass a qualifying examination given at the beginning of their second semester in residence. All PhD candidates must pass a comprehensive examination no later than the end of the fourth semester of residence (for students without an MS degree). The comprehensive exam includes oral and written parts that cover subjects in-depth within the student’s field of interest as well as relevant general information from geology, geophysics, and other disciplines. A final defense of the dissertation is required. Space and financial aid for the PhD program are limited, and each student’s progress will be reviewed annually.

Areas of Interest

The areas of interest listed below are active fields of faculty and graduate research in the department. For each, a brief description and the required undergraduate preparation are listed. Students with backgrounds other than these may be accepted in a field if their records and recommendations are strong, but advancement to candidacy may be delayed. A complete statement of the courses and other work in each field necessary for the MS or to prepare for the PhD comprehensive examination will be given to the entering student.

The department can provide additional information on research opportunities and financial aid in each of the areas of interest. Many research efforts in the department involve participation in extensive fieldwork and oceanographic expeditions. Graduate students are encouraged to participate in these opportunities as a part of their career training.

Geophysics and Tectonics (GT). Studies in geophysics and tectonics at UH Mānoa are interdisciplinary and include experimental and theoretical developments, field-based observations, and computer simulations. Together, they provide students with a background that combines both geology and geophysics for technical and professional work at industrial, governmental, and academic institutions. Subtopics in GT include: (a) Plate Tectonics–rift propagation and plate break-up; initiation and evolution of continental margins and back-arc basins; relative and absolute motion of plates; thermo-mechanical properties of oceanic lithosphere; mantle convection and the driving forces of plate tectonics; and hot spot and intraplate volcanism; (b) Seismology–theory and analysis of seismic waves from active and passive sources; ocean-bottom geophysical instrumentation; multichannel seismic imaging of subduction zones, accretionary prisms, and submarine volcano flanks; (c) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics–mantle convection and plume-plate interaction; ocean/shore dynamics and nonlinear waves; (d) Rock Fracture Mechanics–field, theoretical, and laboratory analyses of the mechanics of fault growth, rock fracture, dike propagation, landslides, and crustal deformation; these topics are relevant to plate tectonics, structural geology, and engineering geology.

Entrance may be through majors in Earth Sciences (i.e., geophysics, geology), mathematics, physics, or engineering. Students need a background in Earth Science (which can be obtained in graduate school) together with supporting mathematics and physics.

Marine and Environmental Geology (MEG). The Marine and Environmental Geology (MEG) program is focused on the dynamic physical, biological, and chemical interactions that characterize Earth’s surface terrestrial and marine environments and also the history of these interactions over the course of geologic time. Researchers work on problems ranging from those of pure scientific curiosity about global phenomena to seeking solutions to practical environmental problems. Faculty and students of the MEG group work throughout the Hawaiian Islands and travel to field sites all over the world to study processes and interactions between water, atmosphere, submarine groundwater discharge, sediments, and living organisms and their tissues. Research also extends backward through deep time, integrating the biological and physical aspects of Earth history through the study of rocks and fossils. Instruction is designed to provide students with hands-on exposure to the most exciting, contemporary issues in environmental science, particularly on topics where the fields of geology and oceanography overlap with other environmental sciences. Laboratories use the newest biogeochemical technologies and instrumentation in order to assess the health and integrity of coastal system environments, to reconstruct past climates and life forms, to characterize the movement of precious water resources, and to understand the chemical cycling of both organic and inorganic components of the ocean. MEG research topics have important implications and benefits for the sustainability of fresh water resources and reserves, agriculture, coastal and marine ecosystems, fisheries, Hawai‘i’s beaches and economy, and other topics of immediate societal concern.

The MEG program is multidisciplinary with cooperating faculty and courses from several other departments including civil engineering, geography, oceanography, and soil sciences among others. The diverse research and teaching interests of the faculty make it possible to tailor graduate degree work to fit the needs and desires of the student. Requirements for admission typically include an undergraduate major in geology or one of the other natural sciences, along with basic courses in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Students often study a combination of geology, geophysics, oceanography, biology, civil engineering, and/or geochemistry, as appropriate for his or her optimum intellectual development.

Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology (VGP). UH Mānoa is uniquely situated to study all major aspects of volcanic systems. Hawai‘i lies over a highly active, intensely studied tectonic hot spot and has the two most active volcanoes in the U.S. These volcanoes are natural laboratories of Hawaiian eruptions and intraplate volcanism; older eroded volcanic systems on other islands provide windows into deeper parts of volcanic structures. Collectively, the VGP group has field programs that are global in scope. Group members have active projects in Chile, the Cook-Austral islands, Iceland, Italy, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, California, the Cascades, and Alaska. Lab-based collaborations are carried out with colleagues in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain.

The group also studies submarine volcanoes with research vessels at UH Mānoa and other institutions, and participates in remote monitoring of volcanoes on Earth and other planets using ground-based and space-borne observatories. VGP faculty operate modern analytical laboratories that provide data on the chemical composition and physical properties of rocks and minerals. In addition, VGP teaches courses in volcanology, petrology, geochemistry, mineralogy, field methods, remote sensing, GIS, Hawaiian geology, natural hazards, and introductory geology.

Specialized topics that members of the group study include (a) physical processes of erupting volcanoes; active volcanism at submarine volcanoes; degassing, and fragmentation of magma in conduits; the eruption and emplacement of lavas; magma ascent; volatile degassing and crystallization in magma storage zones and transport networks; environmental impact and social consequences of eruptions; and igneous processes on extraterrestrial bodies; (b) geometry and dynamics of mantle flow; melt generation and magma chamber processes at submarine volcanoes from petrologic, geochemical, and isotopic variations at mid-ocean ridges and back-arc basin spreading centers; geochronology of submarine volcanism; and volcano interactions with the submarine environment; (c) geochemical and isotopic tracing of mantle composition and evolution; geochemical cycling; geosphere-hydrosphere exchanges; (d) petrologic, geochemical, isotopic, and geologic evolution of Hawaiian and other oceanic islands and seamounts; petrologic and seismic monitoring of magmatic systems at active Hawaiian volcanoes; (e) satellite monitoring of volcanic hazards and eruption clouds; and remote-sensing observation of extraterrestrial volcanoes. Most graduate students enter with a degree in geology or geochemistry. Students need a background in geology (which can be obtained in graduate school) together with supporting mathematics and physics.

Planetary Geoscience and Remote Sensing. This program relies heavily on cooperating graduate faculty based in the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), as well as faculty members based in our departments. It studies the geology and composition of objects (planets, asteroids, moons, and meteorites) in the Solar System to understand their origin and evolution. Faculty members are on the science teams of multiple planetary missions. The program involves research in planetary and terrestrial geology, cosmochemistry, volcanology, planetary astronomy, and scientific instrumentation. Current research areas include: (a) research on extraterrestrial materials from asteroids, the Moon, and Mars as records of processes in the solar nebula; alteration processes; the effects of shock; igneous processes; and planetary crustal compositions and evolution; (b) remote sensing and petrology of the moon, Mars, and Mercury to understand planetary formation, differentiation, and weathering of planetary crusts, volcanic processes, and the mode of formation of impact craters; (c) terrestrial remote sensing using spacecraft, aircraft, and ground observations to study the flux of magma through volcanic systems, eruption precursors, forest fires worldwide and more; (d) developing instruments for use in studying global and regional problems in Earth and planetary science, such as hyperspectral thermal infrared imagers for use in lithologic mapping, the analysis of temperature anomalies, the flux of sulfur dioxide from volcanoes, an infrasonics array for a global monitoring system for the detection of atmospheric disturbances, and lidar systems for the measurement of atmospheric aerosols and rock compositions.

Typically, an undergraduate major in geology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, or engineering, accompanied by basic courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, provides a sufficient background for entrance. The student should be prepared to commence or continue course work in whatever combination of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, planetary science, spectroscopy, radar science, or remote sensing is appropriate for optimum development in the field and to satisfy requirements in the Department of Earth Sciences.