In the Department of Earth Science, we use an integrated approach to natural sciences for understanding the composition, structure, evolution, and dynamic of planet Earth.
Our curriculum offers a wide spectrum of methods and research topics drawn from the different research groups and expertise of faculty within the Department (biogeochemistry and water resources, climate and tectonics, igneous petrology and volcanism). Students are mentored in the lab and in outdoor field experiences in independent studies, capstone research projects, and/or internships. From satellite imagery and climate modeling to laboratory experiments and petrographic studies to field observations and biogeochemical analysis of water resources, we focus on techniques, skills, and knowledge that prepares you for a diversified job market in the twenty first century. Individual academic advising and personalized curricula provide a wide range of elective offerings that are best suited for your career interests.
Degree options include Bachelor of Science, as well as a minor, in Earth Science. Students can focus their coursework in the areas of climate, environmental geology, and petrology/mineralogy.
What Can I Do With a Major in Earth Science?
Become a geologist, hydrologist, environmental scientist, environmental lawyer, geotechnical engineer, geochemist, geophysicist, meteorologist, seismologist, oceanographer, paleontologist, volcanologist—opportunities abound. For professional geoscientists, the median annual salary is $93,580, and employment growth outlook is 5%, faster than the average for all occupations. The American Geological Institute provides more career information.
How to Become an Earth Science Major or Minor
To declare a major or minor in Earth Science, contact the undergraduate advisor, Dr. Nadja Insel, at email@example.com.
Our department is housed on the first floor of Bernard Brommel Hall. We have equipment for petrologic and petrographic analysis; ground water modeling by physical, field, and numerical methods; field studies involving hydraulic testing and ground water and soil sampling, including campus monitoring wells; thin sectioning and rock preparation; soil and sediment size analysis; and a student computer lab.
Earth Science Student Club
The Earth Science Club organizes speakers, field trips, service activities, museum trips, and social events with a geological purpose. On their annual Spring Break trip, students go camping in geologically fascinating areas. Recent field trips have included Mammoth Cave, Keokuk and the Ozark Mountains.
Student Center for Science Engagement
Earth Science students and faculty work closely with the Student Center for Science Engagement. The Center supports students in the sciences and mathematics by providing advising, tutoring, and specialized workshops focused on career success skills and preparing for graduate school. The Center enriches your preparation for a scientifically-driven career by providing you with the support you need to advance into post-graduate study or another professional option that leverages your scientific training.