• Related Links:
  • Department Website
  • Courses/Requirements
A Sampling:

Geologic Perspectives on Global Warming
The basics of the climate system, including the radiation balance of Earth, the role of greenhouse gases on Earth's surface temperature, atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and natural oscillators in the climate system.

Physical Geology
Examination of how our dynamic planet works including plate tectonics, geologic age determination, the processes that form the variety of rocks we see at the Earth’s surface, the development of the stunning variety of landscapes we see, and topics of contemporary interest including floods, the nature of underground water resources, coastal erosion, earthquakes, interpreting topographic maps for land use purposes and climate change

Geochemical Systems and Modeling
Investigates the Earth as a chemical system and the use of chemical tools to understand geologic processes. Topics include origin of the elements, formation and differentiation of the earth, igneous processes, stable and radioactive isotopes, and geochemistry of near-surface waters and the oceans. (Includes lab)

Department of Geology
Department of Geology
Olin 310
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
Geology students at the Bennington Taconic fold in Vermont
Geology students at the Bennington Taconic fold in Vermont


See where Union takes you:
  • Geologist, Clough, Harbour & Associates, LLP
  • Staff Geologist, Seismic Surveys Inc.
  • Forest Ranger, New York State
  • Construction Manager, Toll Brothers Construction
  • Sustainability Consultant, Steven Winter Associates
  • Project Scientist, TerranearPMC
  • Logging Geologist, Halliburton Company
  • Science Teacher, Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School
Kate Kaminski '14
Alaska Summer Research
She studied the tectonic evolution of the Chugach-Prince William terrain in southeast Alaska.
Kate Kaminski '14

Small classes and labs, inspired teaching by active research scientists, and diverse research and fieldwork opportunities distinguish the Geology major at Union.

Our professors teach all classes and labs, and their interests span a range of topics, from petrology to volcanology. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment as well as extensive collections of minerals, rocks and fossils, and topographic and geologic maps.

With Geology as your major, the entire planet is your field of exploration. Through faculty-student research, our students have traveled to the Andes Mountains, New England, Newfoundland, New Zealand, the Olympic Mountains of Washington state and other areas of the globe.

Union is a member of the Keck Geology Consortium, a multi-college collaboration that provides research opportunities every summer. During summer and winter breaks, many students pursue geologically focused  mini-terms in Alaska, Iceland and Peru.

Our students regularly present their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, at Union's Steinmetz Symposium, and at regional, national and even international professional conferences. Many students are co-authors on papers that are published in scientific journals.

Union offers a solid foundation in the geological sciences that gives students a competitive edge in the job market and fosters success in graduate or professional school.