Welcome to the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology  .  University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
stripes HIGP Courses

HIGP offers courses that focus on our research strengths in cosmochemistry, remote sensing, planetary surface processes, tectonics, and geophysics. All courses are offered through the Department of Geology and Geophysics; almost all HIGP faculty are members of the graduate faculty in G&G. The connection to research expertise allows courses to be innovative and state-of-the-art. Some courses are taught with colleagues in the G&G Department (particularly volcanology and introductory courses) or with the Institute for Astronomy. A listing of all G&G courses is given here.

Undergraduate Courses in Planetary Geosciences

GG 105   Voyage through the Solar System (3) An illustrated voyage through the Solar System. The origin, evolution, and present state of the Sun and each planet based on recent results. (Cross-listed as ASTR 150)

GG 460   Geological Remote Sensing (4) Combined lecture-lab on the concepts behind, geologic uses for, and techniques of satellite and airborne remote sensing. Lab work will consist of computer image processing. Field trips.

GG 466   Planetary Geology (3) Comparative geology of the terrestrial planets (Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Earth); impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, geomorphology, weathering; manned and unmanned space exploration.

Graduate Courses in Planetary Geosciences

GG 651   Geomagnetism and Cosmic Magnetism (3) Magnetic fields of Earth, planets, stars, and galaxies; dynamo theories; paleomagnetism; terrestrial and lunar rock magnetism; planetary, regional, and local geomagnetic sounding.

GG 653   Mantle Mineralogy (3) Basic principles of thermodynamics, crystal chemistry, and phase transformation, with emphasis on their relevance to minerals under high pressure/temperature; survey of modern technologies in high pressure research.

GG 660   Introduction to the Solar System and Planetary Processes (3) Geology and geophysics of solar system bodies (terrestrial planets, satellites, asteroids, comets) and the processes that made and modified them (nebular chemistry, planetary accretion, impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, geomorphology, weathering).

GG 666   Planetary Surfaces (3) Comparative geology of terrestrial planets (Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Earth); impact cratering, volcanism, geomorphology; remote sensing; manned and unmanned space exploration.

GG 669   Cosmochemistry (3) Formation and evolution of planets as astrophysical objects, geologic bodies, and abodes of life; current understanding from studies of the Solar System, star formation, meteorites, exoplanets; theory of formation and dynamics; atmospheres, oceans, habitability, biosignatures.

GG 670   (A) Geology of Planetary Bodies (3) Composition and geologic evolution of the planets and their moons; impact cratering; volcanism; tectonism; remote sensing; manned and unmanned exploration and future missions. (B) the Moon; (C) Mars.

GG 671   (A) Remote Sensing (3) Spectroscopic, radar, thermal, and other methods for remote sensing applied to geologic problems; instrumental design and data analysis. Special emphasis: (B) Planets; (C) Volcanoes.

GG 673   Extraterrestrial Materials (3) Mineralogical and compositional characteristics of extraterrestrial matter and the implications for the origin and history of the Solar System. The subject is treated in two full-semester courses: (B) meteorites; (C) petrology of the Moon and Mars.

GG 710   Selected Topics in Geology and Geophysics (2) Content varies. Past seminars for both this seminar and GG 711 have concentrated on planet compositions, aqueous alteration, ion microprobe analysis, cosmogenic nuclides in Earth and Planetary Science, and recent research results in planetary science.

GG 711   Special Topics in Geology and Geophysics (3) Content to be announced, such as advanced techniques in Geophysics and Materials Science, Cosmochemistry.

GG xxx   Planetary Geoscience Overview (3) An overview of planetary formation, compositions, and processes, designed for incoming graduate students. Will be taught first as a GG 711 seminar.

Courses with an Earth Emphasis

GG 101   Dynamic Earth (3) The natural physical environment; the landscape; rocks and minerals, rivers and oceans; volcanism, earthquakes, and other processes inside the Earth; effects of human use of the Earth and its resources. Field trip.

GG 103   Geology of the Hawaiian Islands (3) Hawaiian geology and geologic processes: origin of Hawaiian islands, volcanism, rocks and minerals, landforms, stream and coastal processes, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis, groundwater, geologic and environmental hazards. Field trip.

GG 312   Geomathematics (3) Mathematical methods of geologic and geophysical science. Emphasis on application to earth-science problems using linear algebra, vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, and numerical solutions. (Cross-listed as OCN 312)

GG 406   Natural Disasters: Geoethics and the Layman (3) Evaluates ethical practice of geoscience as it relates to studies of natural disasters that result from geological and meteorological phenomena and the means that earth scientists interact with the laymen.

GG 444   Plate Tectonics (3) Quantitative geometrical analysis techniques of plate tectonics theory; instantaneous and finite rotation poles; triple-junction analysis; plate boundary stresses.

GG 451   Earthquakes (3) Earthquake seismology. Elastic properties of rocks, earthquake waves, causes, detection, location, and prediction of earthquakes; tsunami generation and other effects of earthquakes.

GG 461   Geospatial Information (3) Combined lecture-lab covering the collection, analysis, and use of geospatially registered field data.

GG 601   Explosive Volcanism (3) Explosive volcanic eruptions: from causes to consequences. Review of current physical volcanology including ascent and fragmentation of magma, transport and deposition processes in pyroclastic eruptions, volcanic crisis management and volcanic eruption scenarios. Seven-day field trip.

GG 611   Accelerated Introduction to Geology I (3) Lecture presenting a rapid-paced survey of geology and geophysics for graduate students. Includes origin of the Solar System, tectonics, volcanology, whole-earth composition, phase transformations, petrology (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), historical geology, and hydrology.

GG 612   Accelerated Introduction to Geology II (3) Lecture presenting a rapid-paced survey of geology and geophysics for graduate students. Includes Earth structure, rheology, seismology, dynamics, origin of continents, global change, energy sources, environmental geology, and natural hazards.

GG 650   Seismology (3) Elasticity, wave equations, body waves, surface waves, free oscillations, seismometry, seismogram interpretation, tectonics, inversion, source theory, and waveform modeling.

GG 672   Seminar in Tectonics (3) Evolution of ocean basins, margins, foldbelts, and platforms, from plate tectonics and regional syntheses of structure, petrology, geophysics, and stratigraphy.

Additional Courses

Our faculty have also taught:

ME 419   Astronautics (3) The space environment (vacuum, neutral, radiation, and plasma); motion in gravitational fields; orbit transfers; Earth-satellite operations; rocketry; propulsion analysis and performance; reentry dynamics; interplanetary trajectories; attitude dynamics and stabilization.

ME 699   Technical Elective (3) Directed study on subject of mutual interest to student and faculty sponsor.

OCN 363   Earth System Science Databases (3) Combined lecture, discussion, and laboratory on global Earth system databases and satellite instrumentation, including computer laboratory.

OCN 435   Climate Change and Urbanization (3) The following topics will be addressed: How are cities impacted by, and impacting climate change? How do urbanization, alteration of atmospheric processes, and extreme weather events affect urban systems and populations?

Graduate Admissions Information

HIGP encourages applications from energetic and enthusiastic students wishing to join our research Institute in partnership with the Department of Geology and Geophysics. We offer M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Read more Graduate Admissions information from HIGP, including how to apply.

  Updated 25 August 2014.

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