Geological and Environmental Sciences


Connection to Sustainability: Provides an examination of climate change, historical perspectives, physical processes and resources, environmental cycles and hazards.

Teaching: While all degrees have aspects of sustainability, specific courses include: Introduction to Physical Geology; Introduction to Historical Geology; Environmental Change, Hazards and Resources; Water: Mountains to Sea; Oceanography, Geochemistry, Evolution of the Earth; The History of Coal from the Pennsylvanian to the Present; Geoarchaeology; Issues in Environmental Geology; Petrology and Petrography; Sedimentology and Stratigraphy; Hydrogeology; Advanced Environmental and Engineering Geology.

Research: Research focuses on water resources, earth materials, climate change; Time scales of climate change (past extinction events), water quality, urban lawns and fertilizer emissions; Locating coal ash spills and clean up activities (including an NSF grant from TN spill), and earth materials.

Student Engagement and Outreach Activities: Undergraduates conduct research with faculty and are active participants in field trips and meetings; The Department hosts the sustainability film series and provides outreach to 4th graders from Wilkes and Watauga Counties (hundreds of students a year); The Department is also active in the STEM expo and hosts a weekly seminar of speakers, which often focus on the environment and sustainability topics.