HIGP faculty members offer courses that focus on our research strengths, including cosmochemistry, geology, geophysics, plate tectonics, mineral physics, remote sensing, planetary surface processes, space flight instrumentation, and space science mission design and planning. HIGP faculty are members of the graduate faculty in the Department of Earth Sciences (formerly known as Geology and Geophysics). The connection to research expertise allows courses to be innovative and state-of-the-art. Some courses are taught with colleagues in Earth Sciences (particularly volcanology and introductory courses) or with the Institute for Astronomy. A listing of all ERTH (formerly known as GG) courses is given in the UH Mānoa Catalog. Courses taught by HIGP faculty are shown below.


Undergraduate Courses
in the Earth and Planetary Exploration Technology (EPET) Certificate Program

EPET 201   Space Exploration (3) Introduction to the science and engineering of Solar System exploration. Covers science instruments, mission trajectories (fly-by, orbit, or lander), and science and engineering constraints imposed on spacecraft design. Lectures, discussions, class projects, field trip. A-F only. Prerequisites: none. (Spring only) (Cross-listed as ME 201).

EPET 301   Space Science and Instrumentation (4) Essential techniques for remote compositional analysis of planets; understanding spectroscopy, mineralogy, and geochemistry of planetary surfaces and their measurement. Design of space flight instrumentation. A-F only. Prerequisites: EPET/ME 201,  CHEM 161, and  PHYS 272. The following are alternatives to the EPET/ME 201 prerequisite: ERTH 101 and ERTH 101L and ERTH 105, or ERTH 101 and ERTH 107. (Fall only) (Cross-listed as ME 301)

EPET 400   Space Mission Design (4) Will cover all aspects of spacecraft design, subsystems, science payload, systems engineering, project management, and budgets that are important to producing a fully successful mission. A-F only. Prerequisites: EPET/ME 301 or ERTH 404. (Spring only) (Cross-listed as ME 400)

EPET 401   Capstone Project: Producing a Science Satellite (4) Develop a space mission using a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists using concurrent science and engineering methodologies. Will build a small spacecraft and payload. The project will seek to answer important science questions. A-F only. Prerequisites: EPET/ME 301 or ERTH 404 and EPET/ME 400. (Fall only) (Cross-listed as ME 401)


Undergraduate Courses in Planetary Geosciences

ERTH 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. Also offered as an online course.)

ERTH 107   Solar System Studio (4) Combined lecture-lab with multiple group-projects employing the scientific method to understand the world we live in. Study satellite images, evaluate planetary surface observations, analyze data of objects in our Solar System, conduct experiments, and communicate findings. Field trips.

ERTH 401   Introduction to Mineral Physics (3) Current models and unsolved problems/questions regarding the composition and dynamics of the deep interiors of the terrestrial planets and terrestrial-like planetary bodies; emphasis on the relevant experimental, theoretical, and analytical techniques in mineral physics and experimental petrology. (Co-listed as GG/ERTH 701)

ERTH 404   Remote Compositional Analysis: Spectroscopy, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry of Planetary Surfaces (4) Combined lecture-lab covering essential techniques for remote compositional analysis of planets; understanding spectroscopy, mineralogy, and geochemistry of planetary surfaces. Comparative studies of fundamental planetary science phenomena. Planetary surface science discoveries. Sustainability of planetary environments.

ERTH 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.

ERTH 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

ERTH 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.

ERTH 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.

ERTH 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.

ERTH 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.

ERTH 671   (B) Remote Sensing: Planets (3) Course explores the connection between planetary surface physical and compositional properties and the instrumentation and methodologies used to measure these properties. Spectroscopic, radar, thermal, and other methods for remote sensing applied to geologic problems; instrumental design and data analysis. Special emphasis: (B) Planets; (C) Volcanoes.

ERTH 673   (A) 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.

ERTH 701   Physics of Earth’s Interior (3) Interpretation of geophysical and laboratory data to understand elastic and anelastic properties, composition, phase relationships, temperature distribution in the Earth.

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

ERTH 711   Special Topics in Earth and Planetary Sciences (3) Content to be announced, such as advanced techniques in Geophysics and Materials Science, Cosmic radiation, Cosmochemistry, and grant writing.


Courses with an Earth Emphasis

ERTH 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.

ERTH 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.

ERTH 312   Advanced Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers I (3) Advanced mathematical methods with emphasis on application to the earth and ocean sciences and engineering. Topics include linear algebra, vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, and numerical methods. (Cross-listed as OCN 312)

ERTH 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.

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

ERTH 451   Earthquakes and Crustal Deformation (3) Earthquakes and crustal deformation through modern seismological and geodetic observations; elastic properties of rocks, seismic waves, causes, detection, and location of earthquakes; crustal motions of the earthquake cycle; tsunami generation, liquefaction, and planetary observations.

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

ERTH 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.

ERTH 611   Accelerated Introduction to Earth Sciences 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.

ERTH 614   Advanced Field Study (1-9) Shipboard and land-based projects; practicum instruction. Repeatable eight times. Restricted to majors.

ERTH 635   Seismology (3) Elasticity, wave equations, body waves, surface waves, free oscillations, seismometry, seismogram interpretation, tectonics, inversion, source theory, and waveform modeling.

ERTH 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 been involved in teaching:

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 491   Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering (3) Specialized topics in thermosciences, mechanics, materials, systems, or design; such as 3-D Printing on the Moon.

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?

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