International Training

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Dates for the International Course in 2024

New dates for 2024: Saturday June 1 through Saturday July 27.
We are very excited to be holding the International course again, now that the pandemic is finally over. Stay healthy!

New! Just published, and you can read the article for free. Assessing Human Resources Development in Volcano Observatories Using the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Survey A study by Juan Pablo Sarmiento, Florida International University, interviewing scientists in countries around the world, to find out the impact of the CSAV International course.

Twelve scientists pose in front of a lava lakeParticipants of CSAV International enjoy an evening view of the eruption of Halemaumau on 7 June 2023. Left to right: Olivier Munyamahoro of Democratic Republic of Congo; Leonardo van der Laat from Costa Rica; Wahyu Kusuma of Indonesia; Juan Idarraga of Colombia; Rodolfo Castro of El Salvador; Nelida Manrique of Peru; Laura Barrantes of Colombia; Gede Bagiarta of Indonesia; Lois Jumawan from Philippines; Andrea Aguillar of Chile; Dave Rivera from Philippines; and Javier Calderon of Peru.

International Volcano Observatory Staff were hard at work even during the pandemic: Some remotely, others in shifts

A table with many empty chairsVolcano observatories look empty, because of social distancing requirements.

A man works at his computerArif Cahyo (CVGHM) mans the Indonesian Merapi post safely.

Two men wear protective masksIn 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 adjacentMarco Almeida (Ecuador) studies data on Reventador volcano, from home.

A woman wears a protective mask in an officeIn 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 $9,000 (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 276 scientists and technicians, from 30 countries, who have attended since 1990. The instructors come from volcano observatories of the US Geological Survey, and from the University of Hawaii.

Scientists pose in front of the HVO signCSAV 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 Hawaiʻi 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.

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

A man next to a tripodDanny Hidayat (Indonesia) sets up a tribrach at UH Hilo, for a practice leveling survey.

A man uses a hammer to collect molten lavaMikhail Herry (Papua New Guinea) collects a sample of molten lava near the ocean.

Scientists wear safety goggles in labPhilippine scientists work in the lab with samples of volcanic gas from Kilauea summit.

A scientist points at a seismogramAt 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 beachGroups are small, usually less than 12 students, so everyone gets a chance to work with scientific instruments and computer data.

Scientists work near a tripodCSAV 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. HelensMount St. Helens provides an ideal setting to analyze and map tephra deposits.

Scientists look at a map as they sit on the groundAfter 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 treesPablo Masias of Peru views trees blasted by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

A group of scientists writes at a tableAfter 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 panelAt CVO, the CSAV scientists learn how to assemble a telemetry station.

Scientists pour paint down a panel at a tableThe 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 worldCSAV 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

World map shows which countries CSAV International participants are from.CSAV participants come from 32 different countries around the world.

The 2023 Summer Training Course was a huge success!

We had 12 participants attend, and all of them were very grateful for the opportunity. Most of them had been waiting since 2020; the course could not be held during the pandemic.

Scientists are seated at a picnic table.CSAV 2023 participants were from Latin America, Philippines, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Galleries of Recent Participants