Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, floods, landslides, tsunamis, are words that bring fear to many people. Only a handful of decades ago there was little understanding of the causes of these and other natural disasters. Today we know that these events are simple manifestations of the basic laws of physics. These laws are fully explored within the context of the Environmental Geoscience and Geology degree programs offered within the Anthropology, Geography, and Earth Science (AGES) Department. In addition to exploring the underlying causes of natural disasters, the programs focus on the processes involved in the creation and evolution of landforms, soils analysis, fossil fuel and mineral resource exploration and extraction, understanding past ecosystems and climates, glaciation and its effect on landscapes, stream analysis and landforms shaped by fluvial processes, and many other related topics. With natural resources dwindling and human populations increasing, Geoscience and Geology have increased focus on mineral resource exploration and extraction. Utica and Marcellus Shale reserves, oil shales, and safe and effective deep water drilling have dominated media over the recent past. The Geology and Environmental Geoscience degree programs at Clarion University create graduates that are well trained to enter such workplace environments in addition to being adept at the preservation of ecosystems and the environment.
Additionally, the programs seek to place the context of humans within Earth processes. Humans are both affected by and affect the natural world. Environmental Geoscience and Geology explores critical relationships between humans and the physical world so that better decisions may be made relative to natural resource use and resulting impacts. Finally, both programs are linked through the application of Geographic Information Science (GIS), the most rapidly growing computer based technology on the planet. GIS is a multi-dimensional computer mapping system utilized in a huge array of sciences and human endeavors.
Environmental Geoscience and Geology seek to provide a strong foundation in the basics of physical Earth processes. The Environmental Geoscience degree program has four concentration areas. Students must choose at least one concentration area but may choose more than one. The areas of concentration are:
- Geographic Information Science (GIS)
- Mineral Resources Exploration
- Atmospheric/Oceanic Science
Considerable overlap between the Geoscience and Mineral Resources Exploration concentrations and the Geology degree program allows students to dual major in both Environmental Geoscience and Geology with no additional schooling required. Such endeavors are possible due to the flexibility inherent in each program, specifically with regard to in-major electives.
The Geology degree meets all requirements for application as a Certified Geologist in Pennsylvania and other Geology licensing states.
Both degrees produce highly marketable students capable of direct employment in addition to providing a background suitable for graduate studies in either field or associated academic disciplines.
Typical employers include commercial firms, consulting firms, and government agencies. Lastly, many graduates continue into Master's degree programs. Please see the Employment section for a listing of recent graduate employers and/or graduate schools attended.