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Volunteer with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Each year, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) hosts volunteers who contribute thousands of hours to help with volcano monitoring and research on various aspects of Hawaiian volcanism. Those helping HVO in turn gain experience in scientific research and working on restless and erupting volcanoes. Most people volunteering their time and energy are undergraduates or graduates in the earth and physical sciences. USGS Volunteer appointments are available only to U.S. citizens. However, the USGS Exchange Visitor Program permits non-U.S. citizens to work with USGS scientists. To express interest in either of these programs, follow instructions and fill out forms provided in the links below.

HVO provides free lodging for as many as 7 people at a time in a fully-furnished house about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the observatory in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Those staying in the house must be willing to work for at least three months on a full-time basis.

Each person accepted through the USGS Volunteer Program or the Exchange Visitor Program is assigned to a research or science-support group and supervised by an HVO staff member. The schedule for work opportunities is shown below. To learn more about the volunteer work involved and requirements, or to submit an application, see the links for specific work groups.

HVO staff thank all who have contributed their time, energy, and ideas to helping to understand Hawaiian volcanism and take pride in watching new colleagues grow personally and professionally from their experience at the observatory.


Before applying it is important that you read this document with volunteer appointment details.

Available Volunteer Appointments
Work Group Available Opening Date and Application
Seismology Now Seismology Volunteer Application
Geodesy/Deformation September 2017 Geodesy/Deformation Volunteer Application