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Research Opportunities

Field CampYour opportunity for discovery!

Why should I do research?

  • provide the opportunity to apply your classes to real problems
  • learn to ask questions, design experiments, and share your answers
  • develop field, lab, and research skills
  • let employers know that you can solve a problem
  • work closely with faculty
  • have fun!

How do I get started?

There are three main ways that students can participate in research:

  • We consider research to be such an important aspect of learning that we have included it within the geology curriculum. All Geology students are required to take the Geology Research course sequence (GEOL29xx/39xx/49xx) from their sophomore through senior year. These courses help students to learn basic research methods, develop writing and presentation skills, promote project management skills, and understand how to ask and answer a research question. Throughout the course sequence students will be involved in group research projects. Current projects include:


    1. • Geologic Mapping in the Upstate of South Carolina
    2. • The Groundwater Project
    3. • Geologic Indicators of Climate Change
    4. • Paleobiologic Studies at the Bob Campbell Geology Museum
  • Students can participate in a variety of research project across campus through Clemson's Creative Inquiry program. Lists of current projects are available from the Undergraduate Studies Office. The Geology Research courses described above are our department's approach to formalizing Creative Inquiry within the undergraduate curriculum.

  • Geology students may also take part in traditional independent research projects (GEOL 4110) in addition to the Geology Research courses. Typically, a research project will be selected in the fall within the area of expertise of one of the geology faculty who will act as your instructor. Your project may be designed by you, or it may be formulated by the instructor and relate to his/her own research, and it may involve field, laboratory, and/or library study. Once an instructor is selected and the research topic is approved, you can register for the appropriate section of GEOL 4110. The credit hours of the course depend upon the depth of the project, and may range from one to three credit hours. The course may be repeated once (under the same or a different instructor), for a maximum of six credits. Contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to explore the possibility of performing an independent research project.