Geology involves the physics and chemistry of materials that comprise the earth, but equally important, it considers the development of life on earth. Fundamentally, the chemical, physical and biological responses to environments on and inside the earth must be thoroughly understood so that the history of the planet can be deduced, predictions of the future inferred, and natural resources intelligently developed. Industry depends on minerals and rocks; metals have their origin in them as do our chief power sources: coal, petroleum and radioactive minerals.
The B.S. degree in Geology offer students a broad program of study that emphasizes hands-on experience in practical laboratory and field work. Several concentration areas are available, depending on the specific career path being pursued. All areas are designed to prepare students for employment as registered professional geologists or to continue their studies in graduate school. Classes are small, so students get to know their professors — respected scholars who are actively engaged in research. Two courses are exclusively devoted to week-long field excursions, one to the Bahamas and the second to the western U.S.
Employment opportunities for geologists include such far-reaching fields as environmental consulting firms; government regulatory agencies; oil, gas and other mineral producing industries; railroads; and energy and water authorities.
A unique aspect of the geology program is the involvement of undergraduates in Creative Inquiry research. Beginning in the sophomore year, all geology majors must take a sequence of courses totaling 12 credits in which they learn the basics of geological research and participate in one of several ongoing group projects. In addition, students can do independent research with a faculty mentor of their choice.