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.

The school is striving to promote more diverse participation in the earth and planetary sciences. We strongly encourage applications by individuals from underrepresented groups, including (but are not limited to) those representing the intersections of race, ethnicity, cultural background, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and physical ability.

Cosmochemistry, small Solar System bodies, and laboratory experiments: Graduate student opportunity for students interested in experimentally investigating the interaction between aqueous fluids and early Solar System solids. The student will work with Dr. Elena Dobrica ( on laboratory experiments extending our knowledge of the characteristics of early Solar System materials, including how they formed and evolved in the Solar System nebula or on asteroidal parent bodies.

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:

Crystal clocks in basalt magma : We have one opening for a PhD in Volcanology-Petrology. This project aims to better understand diffusion in minerals within Kilauea magmas. (i) Series of mineral-melt diffusion experiments will be carried out in the lab using olivine and plagioclase and (ii) A unique, 29 year-long natural experiment (a slowly cooled lava lake at Kilauea between 1959-1988) will be leveraged to test the diffusion chronometry technique as a tool to obtain timescales of magmatic processes. Please go here for more information on the project: : or contact Tom Shea ( for more info.

Geoscience Education in the Hawaiian Islands: We have one opening for a MSc project focused on Geoscience education and the benefits of hands-on science experiments as tools to promote and foster STEM learning in secondary and early college years. The candidate would research the current geoscience level landscape around the Island of Oahu and help build and run outreach facilities (analogue experiment laboratory and mobile experimentation stations) and evaluate the successes and failures of the approach. Please go here for more information on the project: : or contact Tom Shea ( for more info.

Seismic Imaging of Volcanoes: Graduate student opportunity beginning Fall 2021 to conduct research related to seismic imaging of crustal magmatic systems beneath volcanoes. Opportunities specifically focused on the use of receiver functions to image deep crustal magmatic structure, targeting volcanoes in the Alaska-Aleutian arc and/or on the Big Island of Hawai'i may be available. Contact: Prof. Helen Janiszewski :

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:

Information for Current or Prospective Students

Graduate Application Forms

Course Info

ERTH Student Work

5 Yr Draft Course Schedule