Mountains in Hawaii

Hilo and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Lava to Life: Microbes & Symbiosis in Action

BISC 380 / ENVS 399 / GE 430 / GEOL 610

Dates: On Campus, November 18, 2023; Jan 2-12, 2024 in, Hilo and Volcano, HI
Credit Hours: 3
Instructors: Dr. Erik Hom, Associate Professor of Biology, Dr. Jennifer Gifford, Associate Professor of Geology and Geological Engineering
Course Fee: $3,595 plus tuition
Application Deadline:October 5, 2023

Itinerary subject to change.

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  • Gain a deeper understanding of microbes, scientific research, and scientific advancement.
  • Meet with the US Geological Survey at Hawaii Volcano Observatory, tour lava flows, and conduct sampling for both microbes and geologic specimens in this exotic environment.
  • Gain hands-on experience processing samples for the cultivation and analysis of microbial communities and conducting lab analysis of geological samples.
  • Explore the volcanoes, lava, soil, and the geological aspects underlying the microbial biodiversity and ecosystems of the island.
  • Visit a working tea plantation and explore the radically different landscapes of the island.

This course may interest students studying environmental studies, biology, geology, geological engineering, pharmacy, chemistry, biochemistry, geoscience, ocean sciences, and general engineering.

Students will participate in one day of classwork on the Oxford campus in November before departure. Date and location TBD.

Students will travel to the Hilo airport on the Big Island of Hawaii. Students will depart from Memphis on January 2 and depart from Hawaii on January 12, returning to Memphis on January 13.

Flight and group ground transportation are included in the Study USA program fee. Students are responsible for ground transportation costs during personal time, i.e. taxi, bus, or Uber/Lyft.

The Study USA program fee is $3,595. Included in the fee are airfare, housing, group ground transportation in Hawaii, most meals, and field site admission fees. Excluded from the cost are the tuition, some meals, and personal spending money.

Study USA offers two scholarship opportunities to students participating in our programs. Students can apply as part of the overall application for a course.

For BISC 380: Students must have completed BISC 160, 161, 162, 163 for BISC credit, or have instructor approval.

For GE 430 and GEOL 610: GEOL 225 is required.

For ENVS 399: No prerequisites