UHM Dept. of Earth Sciences banner, sunset
over Diamond Head, (c) Ken H Rubin

About the Department

Mission: To identify and solve fundamental and applied problems in the Geosciences and Environmental Sciences; to acquire new knowledge about Hawaiʻi, the Pacific Basin, and Earth; to serve society by teaching and training future geoscientists, teachers, and citizens; and to be a principal resource for objective Earth science expertise to the state of Hawaiʻi.

Description: The University of Hawaiʻi is a land grant, sea grant, and space grant institution, as reflected in our research and teaching programs. We offer BA, BS, MS, and PhD degrees with focusses in the Earth, Environmental, Marine, and Planetary sciences. We have 20+ regular faculty members and addtional 30+ graduate faculty working in all major sub-disciplines of the Earth Sciences. The Department of Earth Sciences normally has 50–60 graduate students and 40–50 undergraduate students in residence. About one half of the students are women and 15% are from foreign countries.

Programs: We offer active, extramurally-funded, research and study programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with excellent research facilities. Our geographic location in the midst of the Pacific Ocean and the rich geologic setting of Hawaiʻi provide a natural focus for research programs in a variety of focus areas.

Graphics and Logos: Downloads of some department graphics.

History: Geology as a discpline started at UH Mānoa in the 1930s, followed by formation of the department in the 1950s, as the first geosciences program at UHM. The department has gone by various names over this time span, and has occupied the 3 different buildings shown in the images above (Dean Hall, HIG and POST), each for 25 to 30 years

Department and degree name changes: Effective Sept. 2018, we changed our name to the Department of Earth Sciences from the Department of Geology and Geophysics, a name we had since the 1970s.

SOEST: Originally part of the College of Natural Sciences, ERTH department is now a part of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). The School was formed in 1988 to enhance educational opportunities and to accelerate growth of the university in these fields.

The department is organized into three research divisions: