Geoscientists study the Earth, including the materials that compose the planet, the processes that continuously change the planet, and the evolution of the earth and life through time. Because these studies involve investigations of relationships between the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, the Geosciences are inherently interdisciplinary by nature and include aspects of chemistry, biology, and physics.
Geoscientists also are addressing increasingly challenging problems that confront a growing human population as we begin the twenty-first century: dwindling water, mineral, and energy resources; earthquake prediction and natural hazard identification; human impacts on the environment at regional and global scales; and safe disposal of toxic and radioactive waste materials.
The goal of the Department of Geosciences is to expose students to the complex interplay of Earth systems through active, hands-on learning. Therefore, a DePauw education in the Geosciences goes far beyond the traditional classroom. Students work in modern laboratories with extensive mineral, rock, fossil, and map collections. They use computers to model complex systems and simulate geological processes. They receive training on emerging technological tools such as GPS (global positioning systems) and GIS (geographic information systems). They participate on field trips that take them to some of the best geological exposures in the world. Many students spend a summer working closely with faculty on important research problems using state-of-the-art instrumentation. These student-faculty collaborations commonly result in student presentations at national meetings and co-authored publications in refereed journals.
Courses in Geosciences
GEOS 110 Earth and the Environment. (1 course , Science and Math)
Includes laboratory. An introduction to the materials that make up the earth and the interplay between constructive and destructive processes that shape the earth, including plate tectonics. Laboratories include mineral and rock identification, field trips, and topographic map interpretation.