Environmental Monitoring

Technology And Analysis Methods To Monitor The Environment.

HIGP has long been involved in inventing technology for monitoring our environment. This work has evolved from our origins as:

  • A geophysical observatory charged with providing the State of Hawaiʻi with expertise regarding local geological phenomena.
  • A planetary science research group with experience gathering and interpreting data from land, sea, sky, and space.

Hawaiʻi’s people and environments are our greatest assets. Our ability to preserve and manage our environments will increasingly rely on the development of new sensors with which to monitor the world around us, as well as methods for analyzing the data sets and making them available to decision makers.

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HIGP faculty members have:

  • Developed, patented, and installed (for the USGS Hawaiian volcano Observatory) a system for measuring the sulfur dioxide emitted by Kīlauea volcano, the basis for assessing health hazards associated with vog.
  • Developed technology for using cellular telephones to crowd-source measurements of air-pressure variations, and using these measurements to monitor, for example, high surf, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions. See www.redvoxsound.com.
  • Developed automated systems that use NASA satellites moving at 7 kilometers per second, 800 kilometers above our heads, to monitor volcanic eruptions anywhere on Earth, providing data within minutes of satellite overpass. See modis.higp.hawaii.edu.
  • Developed extensive archives of information relating to geothermal exploration and development in the State of Hawaiʻi, including historical photographs, maps, and videos. See www.higp.hawaii.edu/hggrc.
  • Invented active flourescence imaging systems for detecting plastics in the ocean.

Understanding Hawaiʻi’s changing natural environments over the coming years will rely upon accurate measurements of our air, water, and land. HIGP is well placed to invent, build, and deploy the cutting-edge measurement technologies the State will need to do this.


Eric Attias

Affiliate Faculty

Stéphanie Barde-Cabusson

Post-Doctoral Researcher/Affiliate Faculty

Bin Chen

Associate Researcher

Roger Davis

Software Engineer

Przemyslaw Dera


Daniel Eduardo Dores

HGGRC Geothermal Geology Technician

Margo H. Edwards

Director of ARL

Jennifer Engels

Affiliate Faculty

Colin Ferguson

Graduate Student

Luke P. Flynn

Director of HSFL, Director of HSGC

Andrea Gabrieli

Post-Doctoral Researcher/Affiliate Faculty

Harold Garbeil

Software Engineer

Milton A. Garces

Researcher, Director of ISLA

Niels Grobbe

Affiliate Faculty

Peter W. Hacker

Affiliate Faculty

Richard Hey

Marine Geophysicist

Nicole Lautze

Associate Researcher

Paul G. Lucey


Anupam K. Misra


John Porter

Associate Researcher

James Potemra

Specialist, Manager of the APDRC

Mark Rognstad

Emeritus Faculty, Ocean

Shiv K. Sharma


Diamond Tachera

Graduate Student

Samuel Takazawa

Graduate Student

Donald Thomas

Geochemist, Director of CSAV

Kelly Truax

Graduate Student

Roy H. Wilkens

Emeritus Faculty, Geophysics

Robert Wright

Director of HIGP
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