Degree: B.S., Environmental Science and Geology
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Geology is the scientific study of the Earth, including its composition, dynamics, surface processes, and history. The geology major (Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Geology) provides broad training in a diverse range of courses appropriate for students interested in pursuing a professional career or graduate studies in the earth sciences and related fields. The program also provides part of the necessary background for teaching the earth sciences. Because geology is an interdisciplinary science, students are encouraged to add courses from other fields. For example, students interested in paleontology are advised to take appropriate biology classes, whereas courses in chemistry and physics are important in disciplines such as seismology, geochemistry, hydrology, and studies of energy and mineral resources.
The Department has modern laboratories in the Jepson Science Center equipped with advanced analytical instruments to support classroom instruction and to provide opportunities for research. Equipment for ecological studies in terrestrial, fresh water, and marine environments includes live animal traps, plankton and insect nets, seines, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and pH meters, and fresh and salt water aquaria. Major laboratory equipment includes petrographic microscopes, a magnetic susceptibility instrument, and dedicated lab facilities for paleontology, sedimentology, and geochemistry. The Jepson Science Center has a variable pressure scanning electron microscope with chemical capabilities that is shared by the science disciplines. For environmental and geological fieldwork, the department has GPS equipment, a small fleet of research boats (including one equipped for trawling, coring, and dredging), coring and surveying equipment, and for classroom study, an extensive collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils. The department also maintains a computer lab/classroom equipped with the latest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
Majors in all of our programs are encouraged to do independent study and/or research during their senior year. Financial support for student research is available. Qualified students may also choose to do an internship with a professional organization during either their junior or senior year. Students with a 3.00 overall grade-point average and a 3.25 grade-point average in the major may pursue Honors in Environmental Science, Geology, or Environmental Geology by completing an independent research project and writing and defending a thesis.
All of our majors are encouraged to fulfill the general education experiential learning requirement by completing Undergraduate Research URES 197 Undergraduate Research, Earth and Environmental Science EESC 481 Readings, EESC 491 Individual Study, EESC 493 Honors Research, or EESC 499 Internship . Alternatively, majors may meet this requirement by participating in an approved supervised on-campus or off-campus summer research experience developed in consultation with the department (such as the UMW Summer Science Research Program or a similar program at another college or university). To complete the experiential learning requirement through a summer research experience, contact the department chair for more details.
|EESC 111||Our Dynamic Earth||4|
|EESC 112||Evolution of Earth||4|
|EESC 240||Field Methods in Environmental Science and Geology||4|
|EESC 311||Sedimentation and Stratigraphy||4|
|EESC 412||Structural Geology||4|
|Select one of the following:||4|
|GIS Applications in Environmental Science and Geology with Lab|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Cartography|
|Introduction to GIS|
|Select at least 10 credits from the list of Geology major electives, below. 1||10|
|EESC 307||Environmental Soil Science||3|
|EESC 313||Fluvial Geomorphology||4|
|EESC 325||Environmental Geochemistry||4|
|EESC 335||Plate Tectonics||4|
|EESC 340||Energy Resources and Technology||3|
|EESC 355||Icehouse-Greenhouse Earth||3|
|EESC 360||Environmental Exploration||2-4|
|EESC 421||Special Topics||2-4|
|EESC 491||Individual Study||1-4|
|EESC 493||Honors Research||4|
|EESC 499||Internship 2||1-12|
A maximum of 3 credits may count toward the major requirements.
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I and CHEM 112 General Chemistry II are prerequisites to courses in the Geology major. Students expecting to major in a geology program should consider taking the introductory chemistry sequence as general education requirements or as electives.
General Education Requirements
The general education requirements for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degrees apply to all students who are seeking to earn an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree.
Students seeking a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree have a separate set of BLS general education requirements.
Elective courses are those that are not needed to fulfill a general education requirement or major program requirement but are chosen by the student to complete the 120 credits required for graduation with a B.A./B.S. degree or the BLS degree. These courses may be taken graded or pass/fail (or S/U in the case of physical education and 100-level dance). No student in a regular B.A./B.S. program may count more than 60 credits in a single discipline toward the 120 credits required for graduation.
Total Credits Required for the Degree: 120 credits
Earth and Environmental Sciences Department
Jodie L. Hayob, Chair
Jodie L. Hayob, Career Advisor (Geology)
Melanie D. Szulczewski, Career Advisor (Environmental Science)
Jodie L. Hayob
Ben O. Kisila
Grant R. Woodwell
Melanie D. Szulczewski
Charles E. Whipkey
Tyler E. Frankel
Pamela R. Grothe
Sarah A. Morealli