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International Training

Dates for the International Course in 2018:

Sunday May 27 – Friday July 20 The first 6 weeks will be taught in Hawaiʻi, 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.

A group of CSAV particpants pose for a photo by the shorline
CSAV in Hawaiʻi
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.

Student levels a tribrach
Danny Hidayat from Indonesia levels a tribrach before surveying.
Student measuring the height of a GPS receiver
Virginia Tenorio of Nicaragua measures the height of a GPS receiver.
Morris looks at the camera with his arms crossed
Morris Jim Harrison from Vanuatu relaxes outside of International housing.
Student testing a sample of volcanic gas
Eliecer 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.

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.

The 2017 International Course is off to a good start! Participants this year are from Chile, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Peru, El Salvador, Colombia, and Ecuador.

International students group from 2017 cohort
Tina Neal with CSAV
A group of people in the field, smiling and waving at the camera
The group learns about tephra at Kilauea Iki with Sarah Fagents (UH Mānoa)
A group from CSAV at the lava flow
Everyone enjoyed hiking out to see flowing lava on the coastal plain.
After class montage of activities - paddleboarding, hilo, and skateboarding

Galleries of Recent Participants