Our department explores the way the earth works and the natural and anthropogenic processes that shape our evolving planet. We are a small and friendly department with a faculty that integrates a strong commitment to quality teaching with an active research program that addresses interrelationships among the solid earth, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the atmosphere. Faculty are currently active in research areas that include coastal and estuarine processes, earthquake and exploration seismology, environmental geology and geophysics, earth surface processes, fluvial geomorphology and remote sensing, paleoclimate and climate change, groundwater hydrology and geochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology and structural geology.
The Department offers graduate courses and research programs leading to the M.S. degree in Geology or Geophysics. Students are encouraged to obtain broad backgrounds by taking courses in geology, geophysics and environmental geosciences along with other sciences and mathematics. With generally 20 graduate students in residence, the department is characterized by strong working relationships between faculty, graduate students and undergraduates. The program stresses a strong background in the earth sciences as well as the ability to carry out research. It prepares students for successful careers as geoscientists in the environmental and engineering industries, oil and gas exploration or government service, and for continued studies toward a Ph.D.
Many of our students carry out field-based research that might include surveying rivers in Maine, geological mapping in our backyard in the Appalachians and farther afield in areas such as Utah and New Zealand, or going out to sea on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Students are encouraged to publish their research and present results at professional meetings. We celebrate student research every year with a day-long student colloquium, organized and hosted by the graduate students, with talks and poster presentations.
Please visit our website to learn more about our faculty and their research and our facilities and instrumentation. We welcome visitors and will be happy to arrange tours of the department and meetings with faculty.