Professors: Christopher G. Daniel, Carl S. Kirby, R. Craig Kochel, Jeffrey M. Trop (Chair)

Associate Professors: Mary Beth Gray

Assistant Professors: Geoffrey Gilleaudeau (visiting), Ellen K. Herman, Robert W. Jacob

Geology is the natural science that involves the nature and history of the Earth, including scientific analysis of environmental problems. The Bucknell geology curriculum engages students with concepts and issues related to the Earth and its environments, through coursework, field studies, and scientific research. A geology degree equips students with analytical skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, experience in teamwork, and solid grounding in field-based science. Geology includes diverse subdisciplines ranging from geologic hazards and geochemistry to hydrogeology and engineering geology. At an introductory level, geology coursework provides students with basic knowledge of Earth and its systems and how that knowledge can provide an understanding of potential solutions to environmental problems. Knowledge of Earth, its processes, hazards, history, resources, and limitations can be an important component of a liberal education and also can provide a foundation for advanced work in the discipline.

An undergraduate degree provides the foundation needed for employment or graduate degree specialization. In addition to gaining acceptance to some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the country, recent graduates have secured employment in environmental or engineering consulting firms, governmental agencies, oil and gas companies, and educational institutions. Students also have used our courses toward certification as teachers in Earth and space sciences.

At Bucknell University, students can major in either environmental geology or geology, and each of these is available in both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. These four tracks are united in having a common core of six geology courses (GEOL 103, GEOL 104, GEOL 201, GEOL 210, GEOL 214, GEOL 217). A Bachelor of Science track is appropriate for students who have decided to begin a career in geoscience or pursue a graduate degree in a geologic/environmental profession. Students who elect a Bachelor of Arts track hold greater curricular flexibility, allowing for a second major or minor. Recent Bachelor of Arts graduates have attended graduate school or secured employment in geoscience, environmental science, environmental law or policy, education, business, medicine, and science writing.

GEOLOGY

The Bachelor of Arts major in geology consists of eight courses:

  • the six core courses (GEOL 103*, GEOL 104, GEOL 201, GEOL 210, GEOL 214, GEOL 217)
  • plus two additional courses at the 200 level or above, with the exception of GEOL 319, GEOL 320, GEOL 329, and GEOL 430.
  • Students are encouraged to take a summer field course in geology, to elect additional courses in science and mathematics, and to participate in independent study research opportunities through GEOL 319-320 or GEOL 329-430, with the latter experience preferred.

The Bachelor of Science major in geology requires 12 GEOL courses (one for half-course credit):

  • The six core courses (GEOL 103*, GEOL 104, GEOL 201, GEOL 210, GEOL 214, GEOL 217)
  • GEOL 312, GEOL 329, and GEOL 430, and
  • Three courses selected from GEOL 205, GEOL 213, GEOL 301, GEOL 310, GEOL 321 or GEOL 322, and GEOL 324.
  • Additional requirements include MATH 201-202, MATH 211 or MATH 216; PHYS 211; CHEM 201-202 or CHEM 211-212 or CHEM 221 with approval of the advisers.
  • A summer course in field geology is strongly recommended.

The recommended sequence for the Bachelor of Science major is as follows. (The sequence may be altered in consultation with the adviser.)

First Year

First Semester: GEOL 103*; MATH 201
Second Semester: GEOL 104; MATH 202

Sophomore Year

First Semester: CHEM 201, 202, or 221; GEOL 210; GEOL 217
Second Semester: GEOL 312; MATH 211 or MATH 216

Junior Year

First Semester: GEOL 201; PHYS 211; Elective in geology^
Second Semester: GEOL 214; GEOL 329**

Senior Year

First Semester: GEOL 430; Elective in geology^
Second Semester: Elective in geology^

*GEOL 150 may be substituted for GEOL 103 by consultation with the department.

**Denotes half-credit course.

^Three courses chosen from GEOL 205, GEOL 213, GEOL 301, GEOL 321/322, GEOL 324.

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY

The Bachelor of Arts major in environmental geology consists of eight courses:

  • The six core courses (GEOL 103*, GEOL 104, GEOL 201, GEOL 210, GEOL 214, GEOL 217)
  • GEOL 205, and
  • One course selected from GEOL 301, GEOL 310, and GEOL 324.
  • Students are encouraged to take a summer field geology course, a course in statistics, and to participate in independent study research opportunities through GEOL 319-320 or GEOL 329-430, with the latter experience preferred.
  • Electives are recommended in science and mathematics, as well as from other departments offering environmental sciences and engineering courses.

The Bachelor of Science major in environmental geology requires 12 GEOL courses (one for half-course credit):

  • The six core courses (GEOL 103*, GEOL 104, GEOL 201, GEOL 210, GEOL 214, GEOL 217)
  • GEOL 205, GEOL 324, GEOL 329, GEOL 430
  • One course selected from GEOL 301 and GEOL 310
  • One course selected from GEOL 213, GEOL 312, GEOL 321, or GEOL 322.
  • Additional requirements for the major include: MATH 201-202; PHYS 211; and two courses from an approved list of courses from either biology, chemistry, or civil engineering. The list of approved courses that can be used to meet this last requirement include: 1) two courses selected in biology from BIOL 208, BIOL 334, BIOL 344, BIOL 356, BIOL 358, and BIOL 415; or 2) CHEM 201-202; CHEM 211-212; or CHEM 221 with approval of the adviser; or 3) two courses in engineering selected from CENG 320, CENG 340, CENG 350, CENG 421, CENG 425, CENG 444, CENG 451, and ENGR 220, ENGR 222. Additional courses from biology, chemistry, or civil engineering may be substituted with the approval of the department.
  • A summer course in field geology is strongly recommended.
  • Additional courses in statistics and advanced mathematics are recommended.

The recommended sequence for the Bachelor of Science major in environmental geology is as follows. (The sequence may be altered in consultation with adviser.)

First Year

First Semester: GEOL 103*; MATH 201
Second Semester: GEOL 104; MATH 202

Sophomore Year

First Semester: GEOL 201; GEOL 210
Second Semester: GEOL 205; GEOL 214

Junior Year

First Semester: GEOL 217; PHYS 211@; Science/engineering elective^
Second Semester: GEOL 329**; GEOL 324; Science/engineering elective^

Senior Year

First Semester: GEOL 430; Elective in geology
Second Semester: Elective in geology

*GEOL 150 may be substituted for GEOL 103 by consultation with the department.

**Denotes half-credit course.

^Two courses in the same department selected from 1) BIOL 208, BIOL 334, BIOL 356, BIOL 358, BIOL 415; 2) CENG 320, CENG 340, CENG 350, CENG 421, CENG 425, CENG 444, CENG 451, ENGR 220, ENGR 222 or 3) CHEM 211-212.

@If a student's schedule permits, the department recommends that this course be taken in an earlier year.

Students may choose from three minors in the area of geology:

  • The minor in geology requires GEOL 103, or 150 and 104; and any two 200- or 300-level geology courses except GEOL 230, GEOL 319, GEOL 320, GEOL 329, and GEOL 430.
  • The engineering geology minor requires four courses: GEOL 150 and GEOL 201; and any two 200- or 300- level geology courses except GEOL 213, GEOL 230, GEOL 312, GEOL 319, GEOL 320, GEOL 329, and GEOL 430.
  • The environmental geology minor requires four courses: one from GEOL 103, GEOL 150; and any three from GEOL 205, GEOL 210, GEOL 301, GEOL 310, and GEOL 324.

Independent supervised research experiences are strongly encouraged by the department. Many of these are associated with the senior program (GEOL 329, GEOL 430), but other opportunities are available through undergraduate research (GEOL 319, GEOL 320).

The department encourages majors who are completing independent research experiences and who meet requirements to become candidates for Honors in geology.

The department attempts to make it possible for students to enroll in study abroad programs. At times this involves changing sequences of recommended courses. Consultation with major adviser is essential.

Speaking within the major

Within the discipline of geology, we seek to develop formal presentation skills oriented toward presenting scientific data and interpretations at an appropriate level for a college graduate seeking professional employment or advanced learning at graduate school. This requirement is met by all BS and BA geology majors through the successful completion of the following required coursework: GEOL 210, GEOL 214, and GEOL 217. BS students will also meet this requirement through the successful completion of the required GEOL 329 and GEOL 430 sequence. Non-required courses that also meet this outcome include GEOL 301, GEOL 310, GEOL 321/322 and GEOL 324.

Information literacy within the major

Information literacy within the discipline of geology will introduce all majors to appropriate databases and resources in order to locate appropriate scientific references including journals, serials, books, theses, geological maps, state and government publications, and conference proceedings and other relevant information sources. Students will critically evaluate these works and learn to interpret basic figures and plots within the larger context of the geology curriculum. Students will integrate and summarize information from multiple resources for assignments that incorporate either written work, oral presentation or GIS based exercises. This requirement will be met by the successful completion of GEOL 329 and GEOL 430 and is required of all BS geology majors. All majors will complete the requirement upon completing GEOL 214. Non-required courses that meet this requirement for BA students include GEOL 321, GEOL 322, or GEOL 329 and GEOL 430.

Writing within the major

Writing within the context of the geology curriculum emphasizes background reading, organization, content and mechanics of writing, with a goal of integrating and summarizing information from multiple resources and conveying scientific data and interpretations using figures and text. This requirement is met by the successful completion of the GEOL 329 and GEOL 430 required for all BS geology students. BA and BS majors meet this requirement by completing GEOL 214. Non-required courses that meet this requirement for the BA include GEOL 310, GEOL 321/322.

Culminating Experience within the major

Within the geology curriculum the Culminating Experience for BS students is centered upon an independent research thesis that requires the design and presentation of proposed research project followed by data acquisition and interpretation and the writing of a thesis.

The Culminating Experience for BA students is designed to provide more flexibility to allow for student on a non-professional track to better tailor this experience to their broad interests. All BA geology majors will meet the Culminating Experience through one of four options:

  • Successful completion of the GEOL 329, GEOL 430 research thesis experience.
  • Successful completion of a 1-semester independent research project and formal presentation.
  • Successful completion of a summer field camp experience, subject to approval by the department.
  • Successful completion of an internship, subject to approval by the department.

 

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