The Anthropology, Geography, Earth Science (AGES) Department combines linked academic disciplines which unite the human and physical worlds. The earth science component of the department, primarily concerned with the physical realm, is covered by the disciplines of Geology and Environmental Geoscience. Anthropology and Geography combine human relationships with the physical world. The goal of the Department is to understand how the physical world influences the development and proliferation of culture, in addition to how humans impact the environment. Additionally, geographic techniques important to understanding the world around us, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Remote Sensing, are included. A holistic understanding of the integrated Earth system is thereby gained through the combination of disciplines housed within the department.
The mix of natural physical sciences with human science makes AGES the most diverse academic department at Clarion University. A total of three degree programs (B.S. Environmental Geoscience; B.S. Geology; B.A. Anthropology) are housed within the department and span two buildings on campus. The Department also shares the Education Earth and Space Science degree program with the Education Department in addition to offering a Geographic Information Science (GIS) minor, and a Geography and Sustainable Development minor under the Liberal Studies degree program.
The inherent interdisciplinary opportunities that arise from the current departmental discipline blend strengthen all of the associated degree programs. Cross-disciplinary learning provides students with both a rigorous natural science background and a proper understanding of human related environmental problems. Demand for such a program is very high considering exponential population increases worldwide, dwindling natural resources, rampant pollution, and the increasing awareness that humans can, and do, alter the physical environment across all spatial scales. Employment opportunities for Departmental graduates are currently unprecedented. Current increases in natural gas cultivation via Marcellus and Utica Shale, deepwater oil exploration, oil shale usage, and other minerals previously restricted due to technological limitations has greatly increased market demand for Geologists and Environmental Geoscientists. The demand for scientists with GIS skills is also at unprecedented levels given the complexity of spatial analysis across a wide spectrum of environmental and human related areas.
AGES courses and degree programs offer extensive "hands-on" work opportunities through widespread laboratory requirements and an emphasis on field work. This, combined with the inherent flexibility of our degree requirements ensures that students gain as much experience and cross-disciplinary work as is possible in an undergraduate education. Many students are also able to work independently with faculty on research and grant projects. In addition, they may gain valuable experience through cataloging, interpreting and writing reports, mapping, GIS analysis, and a vast array of other research and field opportunities.