Kevan Kamibayashi

Kevan Kamibayashi

Chief Field Engineer

U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Hilo, HI USA

When you get out of school, the learning doesn’t stop...that’s what keeps everything interesting.


By Roadtrip Nation

Kevan Kamibayashi


My road in life took a while to figure out.
When he was 11, he took a class called “Rocks and Rolls”; he thought he was signing up for a rock ’n’ roll class.
Turns out, he’d signed up for a two-week summer internship that sent him to the HVO and exposed him to the natural sciences.
Says that from the first time he saw molten rock flowing, he was completely hooked on volcanology.
He went to community college for a few years, then entered the geology program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
While he earned his geology degree, he worked a few different internships at the HVO.
One day, he had to solder a machine and his childhood RC car hobby came in handy; that launched a career in instrumentation.
Now he maintains the remote volcano monitoring network at HVO, overseeing seismometers, thermal cameras, spectrometers, etc.
Likes to joke that he’s on the most important team at HVO, because without the data, the scientists would have nothing to do.


Chief Field Engineer

I maintain the scientific instrumentation used by scientists to record data on Hawaiian volcanoes.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

As the chief field engineer, my day consists of making sure that all 240 remote sites are well maintained, running efficiently, and that data is coming in for scientists to analyze. Some sites are only accessible via helicopter, so sometimes travel to work can be interesting.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Take advantage of the time when your schooling is free.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I don't think I'm smart enough to study this. "

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues
School Stress

Interviewed By

Setting Course

Setting Course

Science, tech, engineering, arts, and math careers in Hawaii