Laura K. Lautz, Chair
204 Heroy Geology Laboratory,
Suzanne L. Baldwin, Tripti Bhattacharya, Marion E. Bickford, Melissa L. Chipman, Daniel Curewitz, Paul G. Fitzgerald, Gregory D. Hoke, Linda C. Ivany, Christopher Junium, Jeffrey A. Karson, Christa A. Kelleher, Laura K. Lautz, Zunli Lu, Robert Moucha, Cathryn R. Newton, Scott D. Samson, Christopher A. Scholz, Donald I. Siegel, Jay B. Thomas
The Earth Sciences provide insights into some of humanity’s deepest questions. How was the planet Earth, our lifeboat in space, formed? What are the processes that have shaped the Earth - its surface and internal structure? How has life, of which humanity is a part, evolved? Why are there earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain chains, continents, and oceans? How has the surface of the Earth changed through time? On a practical level, the study of Earth Sciences provides a basis for understanding natural hazards, assessing Earth’s climate variability and global change, predicting the migration of man-made pollutants, and exploring for the energy and mineral resources upon which society depends. The study of Earth Sciences also, uniquely, provides a perspective of time and an appreciation of the natural world that can enrich a lifetime.
The Department of Earth Sciences offers bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees. The bachelor of science degree is recommended for students intending to pursue a career in the Earth Sciences -either professionally or in academia. Most bachelor of science students continue on to graduate school to obtain a master’s degree, the standard entry-level professional degree in the Earth sciences, or a Ph.D. if they intend to pursue a career in academia.
The bachelor of arts degree in Earth Sciences is recommended for those students who enjoy and are intellectually intrigued by the Earth Sciences but intend to pursue careers in other fields. The B.A. degree differs from the B.S. degree in that it requires fewer ancillary science and math courses and fewer electives from within the department. The B.A. degree also does not require the completion of a field camp experience. Along with intellectual enrichment, the B.A. degree provides a rounded science foundation and critical thinking skills that can be applied to numerous other fields and is a good option to combine with other majors. Graduates with a B.A. in Earth Sciences go on to be lawyers, teachers, business people, environmental planners, public policy makers, and politicians, as well as geologists.