Learning Goals

Upon graduation, a student will be able to:

Major-Specific Areas of Knowledge

Have the skills and background knowledge necessary to pursue independent investigations in the earth sciences. Construct bedrock and surficial geologic maps utilizing topographic maps, aerial photographs, and fieldwork. Recognize and interpret landforms on topographic maps and aerial photographs. Construct valid geologic cross-sections of structurally complex regions. Recognize and appreicate the relationships between human activities and geology. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of Earth processes and history. Determine the geologic processes responsible for specific landforms. Determine the conditions of mineral and rock formation based on mineral assemblage, chemistry, and textural relationships. Describe how internal atomic structure determines the optical and physical properties of minerals.

Accessing Academic Community/Resources

Utilize published geologic maps to interpret structural geology and geologic history.


Demonstrate a high level of competence in both written and oral communication.

Quantitative Skills

Describe and quantify strain in rocks at hand sample to map-scales.

Research Experience

Identify minerals and rocks through observations of hand sample characteristics and by using techniques like optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction.