International Training

The dates of the International course for 2016 will be May 29 – July 22. The first 6 weeks will be in Hawaii, and the last 2 weeks will be taught at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, and will include field work on Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. Photos below: CSAV in Hawaii (top), CSAV camp near Mount St. Helens (bottom).

Mount St. Helens

The cost for this 8-week course is USD $5,000 (this cost includes housing). Participants need to provide their own airfare and food, in addition to the course fees. To Apply: Download an Application Form; forms are due in the CSAV office on or before January 1.

Hawaiian volcanoes are among the most active in the world, but unlike violently explosive volcanoes they can be approached and studied without significant risk. As a result, the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes provides the ideal environment for practicing volcano monitoring techniques.

Visit the Smug Mug International site to see photos!

The International Training Program is designed to assist developing nations in attaining self-sufficiency in monitoring volcanoes. The field training emphasizes volcano monitoring methods, both data collection and interpretation, in use by the U.S. Geological Survey; participants are taught the use and maintenance of volcano monitoring instruments. Besides learning to assess volcanic hazards, participants learn the interrelationship of scientists, governing officials, and the news media during volcanic crises. A gallery of former participants showcases over 180 scientists and technicians who have attended since 1990.

Course focus and objectives:
The course is an introduction to a variety of volcano monitoring techniques, rather than detailed training with just one; hence, seismologists who attend will learn about deformation, gas geochemistry, and physical volcanology as well as geophysics. The course is not geared towards academics, but rather, addresses working in a crisis response mode, focusing on forecasting and rapid response to save lives and property.

Who may apply:
Scientists and technicians who work at volcano observatories in developing countries.

Danny Danny Hidayat from Indonesia levels a tribrach before surveying.

Virginia Virginia Tenorio of Nicaragua measures the height of a GPS receiver.

Morris Morris Jim Harrison from Vanuatu relaxes outside of International housing.

EliEliecer Duarte of Costa Rica tests a sample of volcanic gas in the lab.

Application deadline: Applications for each summer's course must be received in the CSAV office by January 1 of the year applied for. Download the pdf version of the International Application Form.

View typical apartment housing where International scientists stay during the course.

If you are interested in learning about volcanology, but are NOT a scientist or civil worker in a developing country with active volcanoes, you may be interested in attending some of the exciting courses offered by the Geology Department of UH Hilo, including Geology of the Hawaiian Islands (GEOL 205) and Volcanology (GEOL 470). Read more about the Geology Department! In addition, other courses supported by a number of institutions and agencies appear periodically on the Volcano List Serve, and these courses address a variety of student objectives.

Written requests may be mailed to:

Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes
University of Hawaii at Hilo
200 West Kawili Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720-4091

TEL: (808) 974-7631
FAX: (808) 974-7677

The 2015 International Course was a tremendous success! This was one of our best years ever, with a wonderful group from Indonesia, Philippines, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. See dozens of photos on the 2015 Smug site!

International 2015


Culture Day

Drill core visit

Cave Above: the group explores a section of a centuries-old lava tube.

Drone Angie Diefenbach of CVO watches Sebastian Garcia (Argentina) use a drone to practice photogrammetry on the lawn of UH Hilo.

Keith Horton Keith Horton (beard) and CSAV International participants collect data on sulfur emissions outside of HVO in a training exercise.

BattagliaMaurizio Battaglia teaches modeling of deformation data in the UH Hilo Spatial Data Analysis & Visualization Lab.

NaPuaDuring a session on Hawaiian culture, CSAV International participants learn the words to a chant, from Na Pua Noeau students.


SandAfter working hard all week in class and field, the CSAV students take a well-deserved break and visit Green Sand Beach for swimming and fun in the sand.



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