Earth and Environmental Sciences

An undergraduate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences will develop a program in one of two majors: Environmental Geoscience or Geological Sciences. Within the requirements discussed below, programs can be designed to meet the interests and objectives of each student. Students may wish to major or to have a concentration in the department for a variety of reasons including: (1) a desire to work professionally in Earth and environmental sciences; (2) a desire to obtain a preparatory foundation for post-graduate work in Earth and/or environmental science, environmental studies, environmental policy, resource management, environmental law, or similar fields; (3) a desire to teach Earth and environmental science in secondary schools; or (4) a general interest in the discipline. Geoscientists study the Earth’s complex systems and the interrelations among the solid Earth, hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere. Students trained in the Earth sciences can look forward to exciting and rewarding careers, as society continues to require ever greater amounts of energy and resources in the twenty-first century, and at the same time, will face increasing environmental problems and concerns. The department provides students with the skills and varied background needed to address these problems. Earth scientists are naturally interdisciplinary and use science to solve real-world problems. Today’s Earth scientists can choose to work in the field in almost any area of the world, including ultramodern laboratories equipped with the latest scientific and computing equipment. Whether understanding hazards and environmental challenges such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, sea level rise, and climate change, exploring for Earth's energy and mineral resources, or working with governmental agencies or industries to analyze pollution problems, the Earth and environmental sciences provide exciting possibilities for a rewarding career.