Gordon A. Macdonald Research Grant

The Gordon A. Macdonald Volcanology Student Research Grant honors the legacy of the late Gordon A. Macdonald, whose career included field research at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the University of Hawaiʻi. The Macdonald Grant provides research funding for undergraduate students at the Department of Geology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. The grant may be awarded to a junior level undergraduate geology major who submits the best project proposal to design, undertake, and complete a combined field/laboratory research project in volcanology. The grant is designed to be dispersed at the end of spring semester, allowing the researcher to work during the summer and/or senior academic year.

Student researcher

The funding will support expenses directly related to the research project, such as logistical expenses (transportation, lodging, subsistence), analytical services, field and/or laboratory equipment, and text references, data, and software.

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis following student submission of proposals to a committee of faculty members in the UH Hilo Department of Geology. Proposals will consist minimally of (a) posing a research question and explaining its scientific significance; (b) describing methodology to be pursued; (c) setting up a timeline for completion of work; (d) outlining a budget.

Students will receive academic credit, as determined by the UH Hilo Department of Geology. Completion of the project will include a formal research paper collected (and archived) by the UH Hilo Department of Geology, complete with an itemized account of expenses along with receipts.

This grant permits students to develop and manage their own budgets in the context of a well-conceived and largely independently constructed proposal. Faculty supervisors may provide guidance for developing a research question, and may assist with field/laboratory logistics. Projects need not be confined strictly to physical volcanology, but could include chemical, petrological, energy, or geophysical aspects, and even relate to ecological, agricultural, oceanographic, or hazards questions.

Gordon A. Macdonald

In 1972, Gordon Macdonald stated: “I want to emphasize the fascination and vital importance of original field work. The volcanoes themselves are the ultimate source of all our knowledge of volcanoes.”

Jack Lockwood

The Macdonald Grant has been initiated by John P. Lockwood (Geohazards Consultants Inc.) and Richard W. Hazlett (Pomona College), who recently co-authored the textbook Volcanoes – Global Perspectives. Partial royalties from the sales of this book will be deposited into the fund; other contributions are also welcome.

Rick Hazlett

For information on contributing to the Gordon A. Macdonald Research Grant, please contact Darcy Bevens or write to us at

Department of Geology,
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo,
200 West Kāwili Street,
Hilo, Hawaiʻi, 96720.