Geology Department

For information on current volcanic hazards, please visit the Hawai╩╗i County Civil Defense
and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory websites.

Ready to enroll in some Geology classes at UH Hilo?

We look forward to working with you! Contact the Admissions Office today, to get started.

You can apply online or email with questions. You can phone Admissions at (808) 932 - 7446, or, you can even connect to Admissions virtually! Prospective students can schedule individual meetings with our admissions counselor. See you soon!

NEW! Hear stories from transfer students, and from students who grew up in Hawaii, about what it's like to attend UH Hilo as a Geology major. Enjoy!

Hot Off the Press!

UH Hilo Geology graduates are featured in the news, on the front page of the Tribune-Herald! Read the full article here. Find out what it's like to be a geologist working the front lines during a new volcanic eruption at Kilauea.

Cover of the newspaper

UH Hilo Geology is Adapting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A man stands at a whiteboard, lecturing to an empty classroom
Professor Jim Anderson appears to be teaching to an empty room, but actually, students see and hear everything! Technology allows for remote teaching via ZOOM and other platforms.
Students work together in a Geology Lab
During the pandemic, Geology Labs are allowed to meet face-to-face, if masks are worn and social distance is maintained; Adrian, Sinarleen, and Evangeline work on minerals.
Students and professors stand near a tripod in the field
Geology field trips are still being held during the pandemic, as long as COVID Safety Protocols are followed; here, Professor Steve Lundblad works with students to collect deformation data on Kilauea.

What careers do UH Hilo Geology graduates enjoy?

Here are four examples of UH Hilo Geology grads who were born and raised in Hawaii, and now have careers in science.

Katie Mulliken

A woman sits on a wall
Katie Mulliken grew up in Volcano Village, graduated from Waiakea High School, then attended UH Hilo, where she received a BS in Geology.
A woman collects a sample of  molten lava
While attending UH Hilo, Katie assisted with field work, learning characteristics of molten lava.
A woman examines a rock sample using a magnifying glass
At UH Hilo, Katie logged core samples for Don Thomas, and then moved to UAF in Alaska for her MS.
Two geologists walk across recent lava
After gaining so much lab and field experience, Katie was ready for a career as a geologist, and now works for the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Kevan Kamibayashi

A man points to a volcano that is erupting
Kevan Kamibayashi grew up on Kauai, graduated with a degree in Geology from UH Hilo, and works at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
A man asssembles radio equipment on a lab table
Kevan's job involves telemetry, such as setting up and maintaining a radio network that sends data back to HVO.
A man prepares a drone for flight
Here, Kevan prepares to pilot a drone that will collect samples and photographs from Kilauea.
A man assembles a radio antenna in the field
The USGS sometimes sends Kevan to help at other observatories, such as in Alaska.

Liliana Desmither

A group of scientists stand next to a van.
Liliana DeSmither graduated from Hilo High, then received a Geology degree from UH Hilo, where she worked with CSAV International.
A woman talks to school children about a lava flow
Lil gained a lot of experience with public outreach, while at UH Hilo, including talking with students about the Pahoa lava flow.
A woman looks through a microscope
At UH Hilo, a Geology lab is used by HVO scientists, to analyze lava samples from recent eruptions; Geology students are hired through CSAV to assist.
A woman photographs flowing lava in the field
But of course, Liliana's favorite work for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is out in the field, documenting lava flows!

Francine Coloma

A woman sits next to petroglyphs in a desert
Francine Coloma graduated from St. Joseph High, then came to UH Hilo for a degree in Geology.
Fran assembles a radio antenna in the field
Fran left the Big Island and went on to a fabulous career with NOAA, as a geodesist.
A woman assembles a radio antenna in the field
Some of her work was deploying instruments in the field, but a lot of her job involved data management.
A woman stands in front of a GPS receiver
Fran is now back on the Big Island, and managing the NOAA data remotely.

Research Projects of the UH Hilo Geology Department

UH Hilo Geology students measure cracks associated with the 2018 Caldera Collapse of Kilauea

Things not so hot where you live? WouldnÔÇÖt you rather be outdoors in Hawai╩╗i with a field notebook, studying active volcanoes? Imagine living in Hawai╩╗i surrounded by erupting volcanoes, lush rainforests, high mountain peaks, and the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean. This could be your life if you enroll at the Geology program, or the Natural Science program, at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo. We offer an affordable undergraduate education with small classes and personalized instruction. Visit our Mentos page, which explains how the famous Mentos & Diet Coke explosions work, and how expanding gas relates to volcanoes.

Visit our high-resolution Gallery featuring Jack Dykinga photos of students working around lava!

Several reasons to study at the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo:

Three geologist stand with rock hammers raised

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