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What is Geology?

What is Geology? It is a science that is still young enough to have exciting, unanswered quesitons, but mature enough to make use of all the sophistication and rigor that one can bring to bear!

Geologic phenomena affect our daily lives as well as the future of our planet. Fundamental knowledge in the Earth and planetary sciences has direct bearing on matters of urgent interest to the public, to policy makers, and to other scientists. The threats of a major earthquake in California, a volcanic eruption in the northwestern U.S., or an asteroid impact are ever present. A naturally fluctuating climate is being modified by human activities in ways that we don’t understand with consequences that we cannot predict.

Field observations and field trips play an
important part of the undergraduate experience.
These can occur during classroom time or labs,
and are enhanced greatly through departmental
or Geo Club field trips.


The Department makes every effort to create
the best opportunities for interested
undergrads to experience hands-on lab time.
Whether it is used for research papers,
or to assist a faculty member with
grant-funded research, students are encouraged
to take advantage of these unique opportunities.


Theoretical modelling is another powerful tool
students and faculty alike use to analyse
geological materials to make predictions or
extrapolate theories about past geologic events.