Research Opportunities

Expand your skills! Doing research during summer or the academic year is well worth considering.

Research with W&L geology professors
Particiapting in a summer research project or internships program is a smart way to solidify knowledge and skills you have learned, expand your knowledge and skills, and experience a new project or new faculty and new setting. Finding out if you like research is important to know if you are considering graduate school, and getting an idea of what different job settings are like will help you figure out what career you might like. 

W&L Geology Faculty do research locally and around the world and open their labs to you. Every summer several professors have students work on their research in a variety of venues, such as studying the health of reefs in Belize, plucking in local rivers, and experimental rock fracture in Appalachia. There may also be the opportunity to do research with W&L professors during the academic year.

Research outside of W&L
There are a plethora of opportunities for summer research outside W&L as well. One fantastic opportunity is to participate in a Keck Geology Consortium project. The Geology Department is a member insitution of Keck, which includes 17 of the best undergraduate geology departments in the country. This program allows our students to join undergraduates and faculty from other consortium institutions in summer research projects in such diverse locations as south central Alaska, Utah and Nevada, lakes in Wisconsin, northeast Oregon, the Bahamas, the Cascades, and Costa Rica.

There are many opportunities other than Keck, and the department holds an information session each fall about summer experiences.

Thesis
Beyond researching as an independent study during a Fall or Winter term or as a paid summer researcher, seniors can complete a thesis or honors thesis

Funding for research
Research involves funding for supplies and services, perhaps travel, and a stipend. You will talk with your research advisor about different funding sources, including W&L Summer Research Scholars, Johnson Opportunity Grants, and the Geology Department's research funds. See the Funding for Research page.

At the end of fall term, the department holds information sessions about summer research and internship opportunities, and about doing a thesis.

Faculty Research

Washington and Lee's faculty complete research around the world and in our own state-of-the-art facilities

Student Research

Student research, write, and present on a wide variety of geoscience questions.