Hawaii Trip 2003

Thom Wilch and Beth and Tim Lincoln led 11 students (participant list. pdf )to Hawaii in March 2003 for the Regional Field Geology class trip (Itinerary).  The trip began in Honolulu with visits to local tuff cones, including Hanauma Bay where we snorkeled to view the coral and fish, and Diamond Head overlooking Waikiki.  We spent most of the trip on the Big Island.  The first four nights were spent camping at Volcanoes National Park.  We took three trips to see the active lava flows coming from the Pu’u O’o vent.  We spent hours mesmerized by the lava as it slowly crept across the lava plain.  The heat radiating from the flows was intense.  Other highlights of the National Park included a hike through the Kileaua Iki crater and a visit to the lava tree plain.  We took a side trip to Mauna Kea and summited the 14,000 foot volcano.  After our stay in the National Park we drove south around the perimeter of the island.  We took wonderful side trips to a black sand and green sand (olivine) beaches along the southeast coast.  While swimming at the black sand beach we were surprised by sea turtles swimming with us.  We spent two nights camping on a beach on the west coast.  From here we visited the older volcanoes that make up the big island.  We took some nice side trips to look at giant landslide scarps and deeply eroded valleys.  Our trip ended in Hilo with a group dinner and night of hula dancing.  Many of us volunteered (or were coerced) into joining in on stage.  As part of the class, the students are completing web pages summarizing the trip and the geology of Hawaii (webpage assignment).

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