rotating photos Graduate Student & Post-doc Opportunities

The Department of Earth Sciences and the Hawaiian Institute of Geophysics and Planetology invite applications for full-time M.S. and Ph.D. students, as well as Post-doctoral Researchers. For the graduate program, we seek students with B.S. degrees in earth science, planetary science, physics, math, chemistry, biology, or engineering. Graduate assistantships and Post-doctoral positions with competitive stipends and benefits are awarded for research in a variety of fields in earth, environmental, and planetary sciences. Specific projects include, but are not limited to the list below. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact individual researchers about these and other opportunities.


GMT Development: A full-time postdoctoral position is available to participate in research in support of the maintenance and development of the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT; A one-year initial appointment is anticipated, with the possibility of up to two years extension, depending on progress and availability of funds. The successful applicant will be a highly motivated, independent researcher with extensive programming experience (including C and Python), familiarity with modern software development (GitHub, Continued Integration, static analyzers, profiling) and will assist Dr. Wessel, Dr. Uieda, and the GMT team in strengthening the GMT C core and evolving the PyGMT wrapper. Applicants must have completed a PhD in data science or the physical sciences at the time of appointment, with a preference for geophysics, and must be proficient in spoken and written english. Tele-working may be possible. See GMT website for how to apply. Contact Dr. Paul Wessel:

Mars surface studies:  Ph.D. opportunity to pursue research relevant to the Mars 2020 rover mission, which will land in Jezero Crater in early 2021( Area of specialization will be determined based on mutual interest and the details of the geology encountered by the rover, but might include some combination of analysis of geologic features observed in multispectral image data, quantitative modeling of the mechanisms of formation of the observed features, and interpretation in the context of the regional to global history of Mars. In addition, a proportion of the student's time will be spent on mission operations in support of the Mastcam-Z stereo multispectral camera investigation. A good grounding in geology, physics, and mathematics is desirable, as is previous planetary, volcanology, or Mars-focused research, and/or experience in mission operations. Contact: Dr. Sarah Fagents,

Protoplanets, exoplanets, and their host stars: Multiple opportunities for graduate students to join NASA- and NSF-funded research on the formation of planets from disks, their detection with space-based telescopes, and investigation of their properties and those of their host stars. Students will work with data from the NASA Kepler/K2 and TESS missions, carry out observations with the telescopes of Maunakea observatory, and learn and improve methods of analysis such as machine learning. Applicants should have an undergraduate background in physics, astronomy, planetary science, math, or computer science. Experience in programming is desirable. Contact Eric Gaidos:

Computational geophysical studies of mid-ocean ridges:  Post-Doctoral Researcher or PhD Student opportunity. We seek an individual with a strong background in math and physics, experience in computer modeling, good writing skills, and keen interest in geophysical research. This individual will join a team of researchers from the Univ. of Hawaii, Boston College, JGU Mainz-Germany, & IPGP France in carrying out high-performance computer simulations to investigate how the 3D interaction of faulting and magmatism creates the different morphological forms and dynamical evolution of segmented mid-ocean ridges. Contact: Prof. Garrett Apuzen-Ito,

Tracking nutrient sources through the watershed:  Opportunity to pursue an MS in Earth Sciences as a Sea Grant Graduate Trainee. Decision making on land-use management on watershed scale in order to curb nutrient and contaminant loads to groundwater and coral reefs need more information on pollution sources, pollution pathways, and their effect on reef health. This Sea Grant funded project in collaboration with the Nature Conservancy will develop methods to identify and distinguish wastewater and fertilizer nutrient sources using contaminants of emerging concern. The student will take part in field work in South Kohala, Hawai'i, laboratory analysis of chemical tracers, community outreach, and data analysis. Applicants should have a background in geology, environmental science, or chemistry. Interest/experience in field methods, chemical laboratory techniques, and data analysis is desirable. Contact: Prof. Henrietta Dulai,

Studying land-to-sea pollution pathways and impacts on health and sustainability of Hawaii's coastal waters:  Seeking two graduate students (MS/PhD in Earth Science) to study water and nutrient pollution fluxes between mosaics of land use types/wastewater contamination to coastal marine environmental systems on island of O`ahu, Hawaii. Project aspects involve: environmental geochemistry (nutrients/stable isotopes) of groundwater, the coastal ocean, and marine macroalgae; infrared imaging with drones; subsurface geophysics; groundwater modeling. Graduate salary/tuition waiver included. Contact Prof. Craig Glenn,

Geophysics, nuclear physics, and data science:  Graduate and postgraduate opportunities to pursue multidisciplinary research topics as part of the National Nuclear Security Administration Consortium for Monitoring Technology and Verification (MTV) and the Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation (ETI). Please also refer to Applicants must be US citizens and should be able to navigate through combinations of physics, engineering, mathematics, signal processing, and computer science domains. Contact: Dr. Milton Garces,

See student application instructions: Applications are due January 15. 

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