Our program is strong and well-equipped, and is located in one of the most geologically diverse regions in the eastern U.S. We take advantage of our resources, and most courses involve both field and lab work. We have a variety of popular lab and non-lab courses at the introductory level.
We also have a strong undergraduate-oriented research program, with a wide variety of ongoing projects. We are a member of the Keck Geology Consortium, which offers additional research opportunities every summer.
Geology majors can and frequently do minor or double major in related disciplines such as Engineering, Economics, Chemistry, Political Science, Biology, or Physics, or any other field at Union.
Laboratory facilities and research in the geology department are discussed together because of the close connection between available laboratory equipment and research programs. Research in our department serves the dual role of faculty development and teaching. Research labs are the same labs in which many upper level courses are taught. Participation in research and research-like experiences are a vital part of the Union Geology education. All laboratory equipment is used in courses, and is accessible to students for use in independent, faculty supervised research projects.
The geological collections in the department represent a significant teaching and research resource. These include the Wheatley, Pfordte, Leo M. Hall, and other collections of minerals, rocks, and fossils. The department also maintains a sizable collection of topographic and geologic maps in addition to the library collections.
The major items of laboratory equipment support specific research and teaching needs. These include rock and mineral analysis (X-ray diffraction, ICP-MS), high pressure equipment to simulate conditions deep within the earth and to make measurements of material properties under those conditions, sedimentology (grain size analysis, inorganic and organic carbon analysis, core image analysis), water analysis (ion chromatograph, field measurement equipment) and general sample preparation equipment (crushers, sieves and shakers, rock saws, thin section equipment).
Many careers are open to Union Geology graduates because of our emphasis on research-oriented activities, technical writing, field work, and public speaking. Our graduates are extraordinarily well prepared for graduate school and many professional fields compared to their peers. About half of our graduates go on to graduate school, and the other half into a wide variety of Geoscience and other fields.