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over Diamond Head, (c) Ken H Rubin

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.

Individual opportunities (most recent listed first)
  • 4D seismic exploration for volcanoes and renewable energies4D seismic exploration for volcanoes and renewable energies: Graduate student opportunity from Fall 2024 to conduct passive seismic imaging and monitoring to characterize spatiotemporal processes of subsurface structure in volcanic and geothermal regions. This opportunity is ideal for students eager to gain expertise in seismic wavefield theory, big data analysis, rock physics, and field campaigns. The primary research focus is the Big Island of Hawai'i, with potential research areas including Yellowstone and Iceland. Contact Sin-Mei Wu: a06859a35@gmail.com

  • Mantle Dynamics at the Galapagos Hotspot: We are seeking PhD or MS applicants to participate in a multi-institutional seismology and geodynamic modeling study of the interaction of the Galapagos mantle plume and mid-ocean ridge spreading center. The student will join a seagoing expedition in summer 2024 to recover seismometers from the seafloor and engage in research using shear-wave splitting and high-performance computing to glean information about seismic anisotropy and mantle convection. Contact: Prof. Garrett Apuzen-Ito, gito@hawaii.edu

  • Development of the American Samoa Climate Data Portal: Opening for a Masters Level Graduate student in the Marine and Environmental Geology Division starting Spring or Fall 2022. If selected, you will contribute towards the development of a climate information data portal. You will have the opportunity to interact with many agencies in American Samoa, gather climate related data and information, and develop skills in coding and web development. This is an applied science project where the results will benefit stakeholders and will aid agencies in their management of natural resources and assist the territory of American Samoa to more efficiently adapt to climate change. You will have the chance to travel to American Samoa and work directly with managers and policy makers, providing a rare opportunity to have a direct impact on the most critical issue of our time. Contact Chris Shuler, cshuler@hawaii.edu

  • 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: dobrica@hawaii.edu 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 postdoc and graduate (PhD) student opportunities to join NASA- and NSF-funded research on the formation of planets, their detection with space-based telescopes, and investigation of their properties and those of their host stars. Successful applicants will work with data from the NASA Kepler/K2 and TESS missions, carry out observations with the telescopes of Maunakea observatory and Las Cumbres Obervatory Global Telescope, and develop advanced methods of analysis, e.g. with machine learning. Applicants should have an appropriate background in physics, astronomy, planetary science, and/or computer science. Experience in programming is required Contact Eric Gaidos: gaidos@hawaii.edu

  • 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 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2019/02/28/manoa-researchers-nuclear-nonproliferation-education/. 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: milton@isla.hawaii.edu

  • Magmatism and Mantle Geochemistry of the East Pacific Rise and Juan de Fuca ridge: Graduate (MS or PhD) opportunity for students interested in oceanic magmatism, mantle geochemistry and source characteristics. The students will apply state-of-the-art instruments (EPMA, SIMS, etc.) to acquire the textural and geochemical compositions (elemental and isotopic) of major mineral phenocrysts (olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase) in the geochemically diverse lavas (basalts and andesites), and to understand mineral growth history, mantle melting, mantle metasomatism, and magmatic differentiation in the regions of 8°20‘N seamount chain (East Pacific Rise) and the axial volcano in the Juan de Fuca ridge. Contact Dr. Peng Jiang: pjiang@hawaii.edu for more information.

The department is divided into 3 Research Divisions and 6 Research Themes, which represent a loose organizational structure. Our researchers collborate freely accross these boundaries, as well as with other SOEST researchers, and extramural researchers

Learn more about our Research Facilities