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


(USA Today College Guide 2017)

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.

Special learning opportunities

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.

"The department offers hands-on classes that allow us to go explore in the field and truly experience what a geologist would see in the real world. My class in Natural Disasters studied landslide movement at the nearby Plotterkill Preserve."
- Madalyn Borek

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.

Meet some of our faculty

John Garver

John Garver

Ph.D., University of Washington
Special interests: Tectonics, sedimentation, Mohawk river, landslides, ice jams

Holli Frey

Holli Frey

Associate professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Special interests: Igneous petrology, volcanology, weathering of volcanic terrains

Kurt  Hollocher

Kurt Hollocher

Ph.D., UMass Amherst
Special interests: Petrology, geochemistry

Donald Rodbell

Donald Rodbell

Ph.D., University of Colorado
Special interests: Climate change, glacial geology, lake sedimentology

After Union

Forest ranger, New York State

Sustainability consultant, Steven Winter Associates

Project scientist, TerranearPMC

Geologist, Clough, Harbour & Associates, LLP

Careers by field:

Life at Union outcomes graphic

     Interactive: Career paths