Geosciences

Major, Minor

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Small classes and labs, inspired teaching by active research scientists and cutting-edge research opportunities distinguish the geosciences major at Union.

Nestled in the Mohawk Valley between the Adirondacks and the Catskills, Union offers the opportunity to study ancient mountain building events, glaciation and flooding in our backyard. Many of our upper level classes are built around the local geology and field locations that can be visited during an afternoon lab.

We are a research-active department that believes strongly in getting students immersed in the field and the lab through classes and research experiences. Each faculty member cares deeply about their teaching, research and involvement with students. Faculty specialties include paleoclimate, hydrology, volcanology, limnology, stable isotope geochemistry, zircon geochronology, sclerochronology, igneous and metamorphic petrology and dendrochronology.

Students have access to world-class instrumentation in their courses and in independent, faculty- supervised research projects. Our equipment includes an isotope-ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometer (LA ICP-MS), scanning electron microscope (SEM), x-ray diffractometer (XRD), ion chromatographs and Raman spectrometer. The College’s extensive collections of minerals, rocks and fossils, and topographic and geologic maps also represent a significant teaching and research resource.

Geosciences majors can and frequently do minor or double major in related disciplines such as environmental science, economics, chemistry, biology or physics, as well as in many other fields, including classics and languages.