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Chair: Peterson. Professors: Mattox, Mekik, Videtich, Weber; Associate Professors: Cole, Colgan, Llerandi-Román; Miller, Peterson, Riemersma, Wampler; Afﬁliate Faculty: Heid.
Geology is the study of the earth—its composition, processes, and history. The great outdoors is the laboratory of geology, where one may study landforms, rock and mineral deposits, fossils, folds, faults, glaciers, groundwater, and the processes that have shaped the earth and that affect its inhabitants. Geology also provided context for understanding Earth’s energy, water, and mineral resources. A relatively young science, geology continues on the threshold of new discovery as geoscientists explore the frontiers of the continents, oceans, atmosphere, and planets.
Degrees offered: B.S. in geology; B.S. in geology-chemistry; B.S. in earth science; minor in geology and earth science. Teaching certiﬁcation (secondary) in earth science major and minor. Students seeking elementary teaching certiﬁcation should review the integrated science major in the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog. The B.S. degrees in geology and geology-chemistry prepare students for graduate study in the geological sciences and work in industry. As terminal degrees, they can lead to a variety of careers, including environmental technology, mineral and energy resource exploration, science writing, and business.
The B.S. degree in earth science prepares students to teach in the secondary grades. Michigan teacher certiﬁcation also requires completion of the College of Education professional program and a minor area of study.
The minor program in geology is designed to provide a supportive second discipline for students in a variety of majors, including other sciences or engineering, anthropology, business, or law. The earth science minor is for students seeking certiﬁcation as secondary school teachers, and is also a suitable minor for such majors as anthropology, geography, and natural resources management.
The geosciences offer challenging career opportunities and are among the higher paid professions. The need for geoscientists reﬂects the shortages of fossil fuels, metals, industrial minerals, and adequate fresh water supplies. Some of these resources are not renewable, so the demand for geologists, geophysicists, and geochemists is likely to continue. Geoscientists will apply their knowledge and skills to exploring and developing the earth’s resources. The search will cover the continents and extend into the seas as marine geologists and oceanographers search the limits of our planet. At the same time, engineering geologists, geohydrologists, and environmental geologists will seek solutions to problems involving building sites, water supply, waste disposal, climate change, and other environmental impacts of human activity. Thus, new cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary needs for geoscientists may be expected both in industry and in the areas of federal and state geological surveys.
Earth science teachers will continue to participate in education programs to increase the nation’s awareness of the capabilities and limitations of the physical environment. Such primary and secondary school programs will need people familiar with the workings of the earth’s atmospheric, hydrologic, and tectonic systems.
The following programs are available:
Bachelor of Science in Geology