• you don't want or can't join an organized full-day or multiple-day volcano+geology trip

  • you join an organized trip but want to get a head start and prepare

Create deeper connections through knowledge

Tourism is both wonderful and terrible for Hawai'i. Wonderful because it provides jobs and income for Hawaiian residents. Terrible because mass tourism is focussed on consumption, pleasure and excess. What comes short is appreciation for and respect for the truly beautiful volcanic island chain, the Hawaiian people, their ancient culture, traditions and language. This online course about Hawai'i will make you want to travel more consciously, to give back, to focus on meaningful encounters, fulfilling experiences and lasting connections. xo Daniela ♥

Powerful formation & sensitive existence

Earth's paradoxes united

Active volcanoes, breathtaking landscapes and endemic flora & fauna: In this video course you'll learn how the entire Hawaiian Emperor Volcanic Chain and each of the six main Hawaiian Islands were formed, how life was able to flourish on the most remote islands in the world and how exceptional, endemic species were able to survive and thrive.

Course curriculum

  • 01

    Introduction Module

    • Welcome – E komo mai!

    • Join the Inner Circle

    • Introduction to Hawai'i: Geography & Islands Overview

  • 02

    Module 1: The Story of the Hawaiian Islands

    • Lesson 1: Basics

    • Lesson 2: Big Island

    • Lesson 3: Kaua'i

    • Lesson 4: Maui

    • Lesson 5: O'ahu

    • Lesson 6: Lāna’i

    • Lesson 7: Moloka'i

  • 03

    Module 2: Climate and Nature

    • Lesson 1: Climate

    • Lesson 2: Flora

    • Lesson 3: Fauna

  • 04

    Module 3: Mahalo (Thank you)

    • You SERIOUSLY are amazing!

    • Tell me how you liked this course!

  • 05

    Bonuses & Resources

    • Resources Vault

    • Bonus #1: Your Guide to Hawai'i Paradise

    • Bonus #2: Vacation Planner for Finances

    • Bonus #3: Sustainable Travel Checklist

    • Sources

Questions answered in this course:

This is a non-exhaustive list of the questions answered in this course:

Introduction / geography (module 0)

  • Where are the Hawaiian Islands located?
  • How large is the Hawaiian Island chain?
  • What are the names, nicknames, shapes and areas of each of the 8 main islands?

The geological story of the Hawaiian Islands (module 1)

  • How were the Hawaiian Islands created?
  • What is a volcanic hot spot?
  • What is a mantle plume?
  • What is the Hawaiian moat?
  • What is an atoll?
  • How will the Hawaiian Islands develop in the future? 
  • What is lithosphere and asthenosphere?
  • What types of lava exist in Hawai'i?
  • What is basalt? 
  • How old is the Hawaiian Island chain and each of the main islands?
  • What are shield volcanoes? How are they characterized?
  • How was each of the 6 main Hawaiian Islands formed?
  • Why are there black sand / cream-colored / white / red / green sand beaches?
  • What natural force is predominantly shaping Hawai'i?
  • How many volcanoes formed the Big Island?
  • How large and high are Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea and the other Big Island volcanoes?
  • What are rift zones and fissures?
  • What are sulphur banks and steam vents?
  • What volcanoes are active / inactive?
  • What are lava tubes?
  • How did the Waipi'o Valley and Pololū  Valley form?
  • How did the Nā Pali Coast form?
  • What are the geologic stages of Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui, Lāna'i and Moloka'i?
  • Why is the allegedly wettest spot on Earth on Kaua'i?
  • How did the Waimea Canyon form?
  • How did the ‘Īao Valley and ‘Īao Needle form?
  • How did the Ko'olau Mountains and Wai'anae Mountains form?
  • How did Koko Crater, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head and Diamond Head form?
  • How did the Pu'u Pehe form?
  • How did the Moloka'i cliffs form?
  • How did Kalaupapa form?
  • Why are coral reefs important, where do they thrive and why are they endangered?
  • How did the Mo'omomi Dunes form?

Hawaiian Climate (module 2)

  • What is the climate in Hawai'i?
  • What are micro-climate zones and which ones exist in Hawai'i?
  • What influence do the winds have on the Hawaiian climate?
  • What is orogrpahic lifting and why can the islands be divided into a wet and dry side?
  • What are the average monthly air and water temperatures?
  • Why is the ocean pleasantly warm?
  • How are waves formed?
  • How are tsunamis formed and can they reach Hawai'i?

Flora and wildlife (module 2)

  • How did life thrive in early, volcanic Hawai'i?
  • Why is Hawai'i unique regarding its biodiversity?
  • How did plants come to Hawai'i?
  • What is soil?
  • What is the difference between endemic, native and introduced species?
  • How many of Hawaiian plants are endemic and endangered?
  • Learn about 7 enedemic and endangered Hawaiian plants.
  • How did animals come to Hawai'i?
  • Learn about 9 important Hawaiian animal groups.
  • What are coral reefs, where do they live, what threatens and harms them?
  • Why are sharks feared, hunted and slaughted, but actually worthy of love and protection?

After this course you'll be able to:

Introductory Module

  • You'll be able to name and recognize each of the 8 main Hawaiian islands on a map.

  • You'll be able to locate the Hawaiian Islands on a map and grasp how large the Hawaiian Archipelago actually is.

  • and more

Module 1: Geology

  • You'll be able to reconstruct the geological building processes of each of the six major islands: Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui, Lāna'i, Molokai and Big Island (all islands separately)

  • Discover all volcanoes that formed each of the islands

  • You'll be able to recognize the major landscape features of each island (Ko'olau and Wai'anae Mountain Range, all volcanic regions, Kalaupapa, windward & leeward sides, and others)

  • You'll be able to describe the processes that caused the formation of the most spectacular landscapes, such as Haleakalā, Kīlauea, Green Sands Beach and other beaches, Diamond Head, the sea cliffs of Moloka'i, the Mo'Omomi Dunes, and many others

  • and more

Module 2: Nature

  • You'll be able to tell the story of how plants and animals came to Hawai'i and how plants were able to grow in early Hawai'i

  • You'll be able to explain the why the Hawaiian climate is diverse, be able to judge why and when you should pack warm clothing too and why the Hawaiian waters are pleasantly warm

  • You won't be shocked by Hawai'i's amount of rain and clouds by learning about the workings of its climate and be able to explain why all islands can be separated into a windward and a leeward side

  • You'll be empowered and inspired to help protect Hawai'i's rich wildlife and plants

  • You'll realize why Hawaiian plants and animals are special and unique and what threats they have to face daily

  • You'll discover 7 endangered, endemic Hawaiian plants

  • You'll be able to explain what coral is, why coral reefs are threatened and why they are important for the health of our planet

  • You'll discover 11 native and endemic animals and stop being afraid of sharks

  • and more

Module 3: Mahalo

  • Complete your EarthyU Hawai'i experience by watching this final video.

  • Fill out this survey, tell me how you liked this course and inspire others to enroll, too.

Bonuses & Resources

  • Find the resources referred to in the lessons and additional resources I want to share with you in the Resources Vault.

  • Your bonuses are safely stored in this section and can be downloaded to your computer.

Your bonuses

  • Your Guide to Hawai'i Paradise

    PDF FOR DOWNLOAD. It's a 17-page PDF document with more than 130 tips, links and information on each of the 6 largest Hawaiian Islands that guides you towards the really important and worthy-to-watch attractions and sights. It includes a list of all towns, beaches, points of interest and cultural highlights for each island.

  • Vacation Planner for Finances

    EXCEL SHEET FOR DOWNLOAD. Helps you set up a budget and a savings plan and allows you to list all your expenses for maximum financial control. It tells you the exact amount available for your vacation and allows you to track your finances. Each day, it will give you freedom to decide what you want and can afford to do. It gives you freedom, carefreeness and saves you worries and stress about money, before, during and after your vacation.

  • I answer your questions

    Pop any questions about the lessons in the discussion section and I'm more than happy to answer all your burning questions about the formation and geology of Hawai'i.

  • Resources Vault

    Contains all references and sources from the course contents and additional websites, facts, insights, tips oder advice I'd like to share with you.

  • Community

    Meet like-minded Hawai'i travelers in the comment section of each video and exchange advice, knowledge and fascination.

How to Enroll

Complete Transparency

  • Click the 'Enroll now' button anywhere on this page.

  • Create your EarthyU account – this is a requirement, as the course will be delivered to you on this platform.

  • You're all set! You have instant access to all course contents and can start watching right away!

At a glance

  • Quick Facts

    4 modules | 13 videos | 3.7 hours of footage | 17 minutes average video duration (some videos are longer, other shorter than this)

  • What's Included

    All modules and lessons for online watching | 1 year access | Bonuses for permanent download | Resources Vault | Audio files for download | Transcripts for download

  • Bonuses

    You'll receive three bonuses: (1) Your Guide to Hawai'i Paradise' (2) the 'Vacation Planner for Finances Excel Sheet' (3) the 'Sustainable Travel Checklist' (4) Resources Vault (5) Ask questions (6) Community of like-minded Hawai'i travelers

  • Resources Vault

    The Resources Vault contains all the resources mentioned in the video lessons and many more useful resources about Hawai'i all stored in one place.

  • Ask Questions

    Ask all your burning questions about the formation and geology of Hawai'i and I'm more than happy to answer.

At the risk of sounding grandiose...

...but I want to make this very clear: This class is one of a kind. There exists no single other Hawai'i resource like it anywhere. It's a unique format that contains in-depth information about the entire geology and building processes of each major Hawaiian Island and the evolution of life on the islands. These insights have the power to transform your vacation. After taking this class, you'll want to protect the culture, preserve the ecosystem, nature and wildlife of Hawai'i. You'll want to contribute to sustainable traveling and an understanding of our planet and all inhabitants. Only by acquiring knowledge you'll make this world a better place for humans, plants and animals. You'll see the bigger picture, travel and live more consciously and feel connected.

Is this course suitable for you?

  • This course is for you if you

    care about the environment | want to give back to the Hawaiian residents | want to be a more responsible, conscious traveler | like to get to know your travel destination in a little more detail | travel to make new experiences | want to expand your horizons | like to learn new things | love beautiful landscapes and wish to understand how they formed |want to feel free | long for closeness to nature | seek a very authentic travel experience | are interested in and curious about geography, island formation and nature or if you are keen to learn about those topics

  • This course is not for you if you

    don't care about the environment | don't want to be a responsible tourist | don't want to travel more consciously | are not interested and curious about Hawaiian building processes and nature | only want to take photos without the slightest interest in your subject | merely want to be a tourist | only want to hang out at the beach, go shopping or party | simply want to relax | don't even have a faint interest in the topics covered in this class and if you also aren't open to learning about them

Meet your instructor

Daniela wants you to have a meaningful, grounding and memorable travel experience where you connect with your travel destination and its nature deeply. She is convinced that by learning about your travel destination you will achieve this. In her classes she explains fundamental geological processes that shape landscapes and combines these insights with philosophical and philanthropical views. She holds two bachelor's degrees in geosciences (B.Sc.) and business administration/tourism (B.A.). She is the owner and founder of EarthyMe, EarthyUniversity and the Science of Travel blog and podcast.

Daniela Dägele

B.Sc. Geosciences


  • I'm scared this is too difficult for me to understand...

    Don't be! No prior geological knowledge is required. No background in sciences is needed to watch and understand this course. The only requirement you have to bring to the table is true interest and curiosity for Earth, nature, the environment and life.

  • Sounds amazing. I really wish I had time for this...

    I understand that you are very busy. That is the exact reason why you should purchase this class. It SAVES you time. It is possible to finish the online class within one day. Plus, the course adapts to YOUR schedule, not vice versa.

  • Wow, that sounds like a lot of information. I'm scared of being overwhelmed (and I'm already overwhelmed from planning!)

    The class is not intended to cause you even more stress and pressure. The opposite is true: Your preparation for Hawai'i is supposed to get easier and lighter. Instead of reading 4587 websites and travel guides and clicking through the internet in search of valuable information about Hawai'i, this online platform is your place of refuge, so to speak. All the essential knowledge is safely stored in one place.

  • Do I really need this online class? There is tons of information on the internet and in thousands of travel guides.

    I couldn't agree more! The internet is packed with information. But information doesn't equal knowledge. Only when you use the information, you can turn it into knowledge. If you have the time and will to educate yourself by using other media, that is fantastic! However, you can't search for something on the internet you don't know exists. But if you'd love to have all the information handed to you in a compact format, this class is perfect for you. And please be aware: This class is not a digitized travel guide.

  • I read a Hawai'i Travel Guide. Do I need this class?

    This class and your travel guide go together like peanutbutter and jelly! This class is by no means a travel guide. This class is NOT about activities you can do in Hawai'i, restaurants you may visit, accommodation, rental cars or travel routes. Although I do share some tips regarding this in the bonus "Your Guide to Hawai'i Paradise". Travel guides are about YOUR Hawai'i stay. But this class is about the ISLANDS. You will learn about their geographical location, their geological features and their wildlife and flora.

  • Is this class downloadable?

    Yes and no. The video lessons are not downloadable. However, the according audio files and transcripts as well as all bonuses are downloadable.

  • I won't travel to Hawai'i until after a few months. Can I already book the course? I'm afraid I'm going to forget everything.

    Of course you can! You have access to the class for one whole year. You can start whenever you're ready.

  • I only visit 1 or 2 islands. Will the course still be useful?

    Absolutely, yes! The class contains plenty of information applicable to each island and provides you with a holistic view of Hawai'i.