Explore Earth Science

Geoscience is about Earth, oceans, planets, climate, mountains, rivers, glaciers, soils, weather, and so much more. Because geoscience is interdisciplinary, many students with interests in environmental science, chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering appreciate applying their interests to the questions that geoscience studies.

Below is information about classes for Fall Term 2022, as well as information about events and the major. Let us know if you have questions!

GEOL 100 Dynamic Earth: Introductory Geology with Field Emphasis - Fall 2022

The study of Earth systems, our physical environment, and the processes shaping our planet with special emphasis on field study of the region near Lexington. Topics include: plate tectonics; the materials and structure of the Earth's crust; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; the origin of landforms; and the concept of deep time. Additional topics, with emphasis varying by instructor, include: climate change; weathering and erosion; water quality and movement; energy resources; geospatial and quantitative data analysis; and the relationship between humans and the environment. Involves moderate hiking and other physical activities outside in all types of weather. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101 or 102. (4 credits, satisfies SL FDR)GEOL 100A is the First-year Seminar section of GEOL-100.

GEOL 102 Sustainable Earth: Introductory Environmental Geology - Fall 2022

The study of Earth systems, our physical environment, and the processes shaping our planet with special emphasis on environmental science and sustainability. There is special emphasis on field study of the region near Lexington. Depending on the instructor, various topics include: plate tectonics; the materials and structure of the Earth's crust; climate change; the nature of the Earth's interior; the origin of landforms; weathering and erosion; water quality and movement; natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; energy resources; the concept of deep time; geospatial and quantitative data analysis; and the relationship between humans and the environment. Laboratory course. Involves moderate hiking and other physical activities outside in all types of weather. Not open to students with credit for GEOL 100 or 101. (4 credits, satisfies SL FDR)

GEOL 150: Water Resources - Fall 2022

An examination of the quality and quantity of water resources as a limiting factor for life on earth. Issues include resource depletion, pollution, historical use and over-use, remediation, habitat maintenance, and water supply mechanisms. Resource constraints are analyzed from a scientific perspective in order to understand water resource problems and envision solutions. (3 credits, satisfies SC FDR)

About the Earth and Environmental Geoscience Major

Studying Earth and Environmental Geoscience offers a highly relevant, integrative, scientific avenue for managing our interactions with the environment, providing adequate resources, ensuring the safety of the built environment in the face of natural hazards, and solving the complex history of earth and its continuing evolution. We make extensive use of the extraordinary geology of the Appalachians and other locales around the globe. You can earn a BS or a BA in Earth and Environmental Geoscience. Some students interested in minoring will do the BA.

Engineering Integrated with Geology

The Integrated Engineering degree offered through the Physics and Engineering Department gives students the opportunity to apply their science to the disciplines of geology, chemistry, biology, or computer science. Students are required to take four geology courses, an Introductory course and three courses that are 200 level or above, all of which is easy to fit into one's schedule. Talk to a geology professor and an engineering professor about your interests.

Earth and Environmental Geoscience Careers

A geoscience education can take you many varied places. Read about what several of our recent graduates have gone of to do, from working in the solar energy and environmental consulting fields to studying earthquakes and consulting for oil and gas projects.