The Earth Sciences are concerned with the physical and chemical characteristics of minerals, rocks, ice and water, with their occurrence, arrangement, and surface expression, and with the history of Earth and its inhabitants. The curriculum provides for a basic understanding of the earth sciences and is sufficiently flexible to allow students with interests in environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, and oceanography to pursue additional courses in appropriate ancillary sciences.
The Department of Earth Sciences offers a wide variety of courses for the undergraduate non-major who is looking for interesting courses to satisfy the general education science requirement and the population and the environment requirement and/or who has an interest in earth sciences, ecology and environmental sciences, global change, and the environment. Additionally, several introductory level courses are supportive of other undergraduate majors such as Civil and Environmental Engineering, Spatial Information Engineering, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Science Education, Anthropology, Landscape Horticulture and Sustainable Agriculture. Introductory level courses are: ERS 100, ERS 101, ERS 102, ERS 103, ERS 104, ERS 109, ERS 110, ERS 121 and ERS 140. ERS courses at the 1xx level may not be counted as upper level electives for majors in the Earth Sciences. Electives in the major must be ERS 3xx or higher.
A BA or BS Earth Sciences graduate is prepared to enter directly into industry or survey work, or to enter graduate school in geological sciences. In addition, if BIO 204, CHY 251/252, CHY 253/254 and BIO 100 are taken, the entrance requirements for medical or dental schools are met.
The concentration in Environmental Geology
The requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree include: ERS 101 or 102; ERS 200; ERS 314, ERS 315, ERS 330, ERS 333, ERS 416, ERS 417, ERS 456 and one elective geological sciences course above 1XX, MAT 126/127, MAT 232, CHY 121 and 122 (plus laboratory courses CHY 123 and 124), PHY 111/112 or 121/122, and COS 120 or COS 215 or COS 220 or SIE 271 or FTY 480. An approved summer field course is required between the junior and senior years. A concentration in Environmental Geology is possible in both the BA and BS degree programs.