The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences brings a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the processes operative within the Earth and, especially, on the surface of the Earth, the products of those processes, and how both processes and products can and have changed through geologic time. The interdisciplinary nature of this study is emphasized both in the research of the faculty and in the course offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The major tracks in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences prepare students for:
- Graduate and professional work in geology and related environmental sciences.
- Other environmentally related industrial areas.
- Teaching secondary school earth science, geology, or general science.
Courses also provide a background in environmental sciences and studies for students of other natural and social sciences, and broaden the general background of students in all disciplines.
The Department of Geology was created in 1962 and continued, with a variety of names until 1996. During this period the emphasis was in geology and environmental geology as indicated by both the research interests of the faculty and the curriculum. In 1996, the department reconstituted itself as the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences in an effort to create a truly interdisciplinary entity that would make the environment a centerpiece of intellectual activity on campus (Self-study, 1999).
New majors in Environmental Sciences with concentrations in Geology or Biology or Chemistry were created. An Environmental Studies major with emphasis on the social sciences and humanities as well as the basics of environmental sciences was added. New master programs in Geotechnology moved course offerings in new directions. These varied offerings needed a broader faculty base that could comfortably be included within the classic geology discipline. Thus was born the "School" rather than a department to enable us to make hires of the interdisciplinary faculty necessary to continue our growth. Today, marine biologists, ecologists, and soil scientists share with geologists, geochemists, and geophysists the excitement of the study of our Earth.