Hawaii is unique on planet Earth in many ways. Not only is it a vacation paradise with exceptional beaches, with a year-round warm tropical climate, tropical rain forests and clear warm ocean water for diving and surfing but, Hawaii was (and is) 'BORN OF FIRE.' Hawaii is one of the few places on Earth where you can visit a live volcano and often safely view the volcanic processes that shape planet Earth. For marine scientists Hawaii is the classic case study for topics of plate tectonic hot spots, big pelagic vertebrates (mantas, whales, turtles), and island ecology. Hawaii also has interesting coral reefs, tropical rain forests and lava deserts. The following sections are presented to give you a feel for the unique biological nature of Hawaii.
Geology: Plate Tectonics
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and USGS (United States Geological Survey) Volcanic Images
General Ecology/Island Endemics
(Revised 3 January 2008)