Kona, Hilo, Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea, Green and Black Sand Beaches
Spend your spring break in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands! Hawai’i is one of the world’s must-see places and the most remote island chain on Earth that is long synonymous with exoticism and paradise. Discover the reason for this beauty and remoteness and the source of the lush diversity and colorful beaches… active volcanoes!
We explore the spirituality, biogeography, culture, and geology of Hawai’i with particular emphasis on sustainable development. The program begins in the culturally rich town of Hilo for introductory classes and field trips, before traveling to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to hike the crater and watch night-time coastal lava flow – one of the very few places in the world to see such a spectacle. We then travel along the coast to understand formation of the black, green, and golden beaches scattered throughout the big island (including Hapuna Beach, considered one of the world’s best beaches), snorkel Kealakekua Bay (site of Captain Cook’s demise), and visit Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park (the historic and cultural place of refuge for Hawaiians).
After several days in the Kona region we visit Mauna Kea (the world’s largest mountain at close to 30,000 feet from its sea floor base), arriving at the crater summit to view a sunset from a spectacular vista, and spend the evening star gazing from arguably one of the best places on the planet. Some focus is also given to the sustainability of alternative energy sources including wind, ocean thermal, and wave action, in addition to investigating the global context of volcanism, earthquakes and the Pacific Ring of Fire (e.g., as triggers for tsunamis and effects on global sea level rise). Throughout, Western science is contrasted with spiritual interpretations of human – environment relations to provide an holistic understanding of sustainability.
The program is open to all students from UGA and from other institutions and no prior knowledge is assumed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and or/download the sample itinerary for more information. Click here to inquire and/or apply now.