USGS Housing for Volunteers of HVO
What is the guest house?
The USGS has a dormitory house in Hawai`i Volcanoes National
Park that is available to USGS volunteers at no charge. The house
is co-ed, and as many as nine volunteers share the house at
any one time. There are several shared rooms (same-sex only).
Facilities include kitchen, laundry equipment (washer, dryer,
detergent provided), beds, sheets and blankets, television,
and two bathrooms. Volunteers are expected to keep the house
Located in the park's residential area, the house is only a few
hundred meters from Kilauea's caldera and trails. HVO is 4
km from the house. Government vehicles and mountain bikes
are provided for travel to and from HVO and for other travel within
the park; the vehicles are only for work-related activities.
Kitchen is fully furnished!
The kitchen is equipped with electric stove and oven, two
refrigerators, microwave oven, toaster, coffee maker, silverware
and cooking utensils, pots and pans, and a double sink (no
Depending on the mix of volunteers at the guest house, meals
are prepared individually or on a shared rotating basis. Volunteers
are expected to keep the kitchen clean!
What expenses will I have to pay at the guest house?
Volunteers are responsible for travel expenses
to and from Hilo, Hawai`i. You will be greeted at
the airport and driven to HVO.
Volunteers must pay for their own food; food prices are
about 15% higher in Hawai`i than on the mainland United
States. Previous volunteers have estimated their food costs
averaged about $75 (US) per week.
Volunteers must provide their own personal field gear (boots,
back pack, rain gear, sun protection, etc.); specialized
equipment needed for work will be provided by HVO (gas mask,
tools, hard hat, etc.).
Volunteers must have their own health insurance. You will be asked
to show proof of your health insurance when you arrive at HVO.
On-the-job injuries are covered by workmen's compensation.
Volunteers must pay for non-work related transportation on the
Big Island and travel to neighboring islands. Many volunteers
make trips to various locations on the Big Island by renting
a car over weekends and extended holidays.
What about transportation when I arrive at the guest house?
Government vehicles and mountain bikes are provided for travel
between the guest house and the Observatory, for work in the
National Park and elsewhere, and for all work-related activities.
Volunteers are responsible for all other travel costs. Non-work
related travel on the Big Island and neighbor islands must be
paid for by volunteers (rental cars and airline tickets).
Where do volunteers staying at the guest house shop for food?
Small grocery/convenience stores are located in the park
between the dorm and HVO and just outside the park in Volcano village, 3 km from the park entrance. A farmers' market in
Volcano every Sunday morning provides the opportunity to
purchase a variety of locally grown fruit and produce.
The nearest place for complete shopping is Hilo, the county seat
of the Big Island. Hilo is 45-50 km distant--about 45 minutes
drive. It is usually possible to arrange an occasional ride
to town with someone from the Observatory or the Park.
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Updated: 20 February 2002 (srb)