Geology

The Department of Geology offers programs of study designed for individuals seeking a career as an earth scientist. Challenging and rewarding career opportunities occur in three main areas: environmental geoscience, engineering geology, and exploration for natural resources (especially coal, oil, gas).

Geology students in field

The majority of graduates have found employment with environmental and geotechnical companies or with energy companies. Other employers include geological surveys, and local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the WV Department of Environmental Protection. Career opportunities in the teaching profession at the high school and university level may also be available to those with advanced degrees.

Geologists are curious…

  • How has the planet changed through time?
  • How and why did the dinosaurs go extinct?
  • Where can we find water, mineral, and energy resources?
  • What controls Earth’s climate?
  • Is there a global warming trend?
  • How old is that?
  • How and where should we dispose of industrial waste?
  • Can we predict where and when earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions will occur?
  • How has life changed through time?
  • Why are there mountain ranges?
  • Why are there layers in that cliff?

What do Geologists do?

Marshall Geology students working in the field along the AA Highway in Kentucky

We investigate earth materials, processes, and products in order to:

  1. increase understanding of the  planet and its history,
  2. supply things we need,
  3. protect the environment,
  4. mitigate natural  hazards.

Geologists explore, investigate, discover, collect, analyze, interpret, and solve…

Geology majors measuring bedding and foliation in the Blue Ridge, NC

Geology majors measuring bedding and foliation in the Blue Ridge, NC

Student using petrographic microscope to examine wafer-thin rock sample using plane-polarized and cross-polarized light.

Trackway discovery near Catlettsburg, KY

Ripple marks in sand that was once an ancient seafloor. This sandstone produces oil a few miles away in Greenup Co., KY.

What Can I Do as a Geologist?

  • Economic geology – study of earth materials of  economic  interest, including metals, minerals, building stone,  petroleum, coal, and water.
  • Environmental geology – study of problems  associated  with pollution, waste disposal, and urban development.
  • Hydrogeology – study of the abundance, distribution, and  quality of ground water.
  • Engineering geology – study of geological factors regarding the location, design, construction, operation and maintenance of engineering works
  • Seismology –study of the origin, geographic   distribution, effects, and possible prediction of   earthquakes.
  • Paleoclimatology & paleoceanography – study of past  changes in Earth’s climate and oceans…as key to future.
  • Volcanology – study of volcanoes and volcanic phenomena.
  • Astrogeology –the study of the geology of the celestial bodies such as the planets and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteorites.

Geology Degree Programs

The Department of Geology offers an undergraduate major leading to a Bachelor of Science in Geology. Students pursuing an undergraduate degree may also choose from two areas of emphasis: Engineering Geology or Environmental Geoscience. In addition the department offers an undergraduate Minor in Geology and a graduate degree program leading to a Master of Science in Physical Science with a Geology Concentration.

Complete information for Geology Undergraduate & Graduate Degree programs.

Contact Us:

Dept. of Geology
176 Science Building
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Telephone: 304-696-2430
Telephone: 304-696-6738
Facsimile: 304-696-3243
Directory: Faculty & Staff

Geology Capstone:

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