Earth and Environmental Sciences

The department offers graduate courses and research programs leading to an M.S. in Geology or Geophysics and a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Students are encouraged to obtain broad scientific backgrounds by taking courses in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and environmental geosciences along with the other sciences and mathematics. Through this multidisciplinary approach, our program provides graduates with the credibility and interdisciplinary vision they need to advance careers in academia, government, and the private sector, as well as continued studies toward a Ph.D. for students in our M.S. track.

The Earth and Environmental Sciences department, with approximately 20 graduate students in residence, is housed in Devlin Hall.  The department has close ties with the Schiller Institute for Science and Society and additional research facilities at Weston Observatory. Students enjoy close working relationships with faculty while being able to undertake research using modern scientific equipment available. Both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs stress a strong background in the earth sciences, as well as the ability to carry out research.

Research in the department covers a broad range of topics, including: coastal and estuarine processes, sedimentology, geomorphology, earthquake and exploration seismology, tectonics, structural geology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, isotope geochemistry and geochronology, groundwater hydrology, oceanography, paleoclimatology and cryospheric change, marine biogeochemistry, and environmental geology and geophysics. Our students use state-of-the-art research techniques, including modern scientific equipment and instrumentation, performing field-based research across the globe in areas such as the Appalachians, western U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Australia, China, and Greenland, as well as at sea in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans.

The department offers financial aid in the form of teaching and research assistantships.