Geology Department Learning Goals

Students majoring or minoring in geology learn about the dynamic processes and history that shaped our planet and provide us with the resources and natural environments on which we rely. This is a fascinating field of study that also prepares one for outstanding employment opportunities. Our courses are designed to achieve the following learning goals:

  • Develop observational and quantitative skills appropriate for field, laboratory, analytical, and modeling methods of geoscience inquiry.
  • Develop sophisticated and nuanced reasoning skills to evaluate multiple working hypotheses, integrate earth science data gathered at different spatial and temporal scales, and critically assess data, ideas, and methods from the published literature.
  • Become an effective communicator, able to ask interesting questions, collaborate with peers, and engage thoughtfully and respectfully in discussion; to write about scientific observations and interpretations using appropriate vocabulary and style; and to orally and graphically present data, ideas, and methods from your own research and from published literature.
  • We encourage geology majors to be informed about ideas and methods within the cognate sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, and math and statistics.
  • Geology majors will understand the importance of earth processes and materials in shaping the history and future of humanity.