International Training

Dates for the International Course in 2022

New dates for 2022: Saturday June 4 through Friday July 29.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be holding the International Course in 2021. Please practice social distancing, working from home, and washing your hands frequently. See you in 2022. Stay healthy!

International Volcano Observatory Staff are Working During the Pandemic: Some remotely, others in shifts

A table with many empty chairs
Volcano observatories look empty, because of social distancing requirements.
A man works at his computer
Arif Cahyo (CVGHM) mans the Indonesian Merapi post safely.
Two men wear protective masks
In the Phillipines, Ryan and Dave wear protective masks during their shift.
A woman works at a computer.
Mirian Villalobos works in solitude at the El Salvador Observatory.
A man works at his dining table, with his faithful dog adjacent
Marco Almeida (Ecuador) studies data on Reventador volcano, from home.
A woman wears a protective mask in an office
In the Philippines, Con Barairo enjoys working in her office, with no one else around.

Details of the International Training Course

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 the 264 scientists and technicians, from 30 countries, who have attended since 1990.

Scientists pose in front of the HVO sign
CSAV International scientists learn volcano monitoring techniques used by volcano observatories of the United States Geological Survey. Here, the 2011 CSAV group poses in front of the HVO sign at Kilauea Summit.

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.

Hawaiʻi Section: Six Weeks

The Hawaiʻi Section is held at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and covers physical geology, webcams, gas geochemistry, rock identification and mapping, Lahars, photogrammetry, seismology, remote sensing, deformation, and dealing with the press. Field work sites are Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

A man next to a tripod
Danny Hidayat (Indonesia) sets up a tribrach at UH Hilo, for a practice leveling survey.
A man uses a hammer to collect molten lava
Mikhail Herry (Papua New Guinea) collects a sample of molten lava near the ocean.
Scientists wear safety goggles in lab
Philippine scientists work in the lab with samples of volcanic gas from Kilauea summit.
A scientist points at a seismogram
At the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Matt Patrick shows the CSAV group how seismic, tilt, and other telemetered signals correlate.
Scientists stand on a black sand beach
Groups are small, usually less than 12 students, so everyone gets a chance to work with scientific instruments and computer data.
Scientists work near a tripod
CSAV students collect GPS data near Mauna Ulu; the information gathered will be compared to earlier baseline studies.

CVO Section: Two weeks

The CVO section is held in Vancouver, Washington and includes work at Cascades Volcano Observatory as well as field work at Mount St. Helens. Topics covered are stratigraphic sections, mapping, engineering public outreach, event trees, and the relationship of scientists to media and Civil Defense.

The crater of Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens provides an ideal setting to analyze and map tephra deposits.
Scientists look at a map as they sit on the ground
After hiking into the crater of Mount St. Helens, the CSAV group makes a rough map.
A man poses in front of a forest of dead trees
Pablo Masias of Peru views trees blasted by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
A group of scientists writes at a table
After a day of field work, the CSAV group works on isopach maps of tephra.
Scientists use a screwdriver to connect a piece of conduit to a solar panel
At CVO, the CSAV scientists learn how to assemble a telemetry station.
Scientists pour paint down a panel at a table
The CSAV group participates in activities designed to teach the public about eruptions.

Who may apply

Scientists and technicians who work at volcano observatories in developing countries.

Scientists pose in front of a wall map of the world
CSAV International participants come from volcano observatories throughout the developing world, including Peru, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

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.

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!

Written requests may be mailed to:

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

Tel: (808) 932-7555
Fax: (808) 932-7547

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

Galleries of Recent Participants