Department of


What drives the Earth’s water, tectonic, and climate systems? How have Earth’s life forms and environments changed over time? And how are humans affecting Earth systems today?


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Understand Your World

Get out of the classroom

Study geology in the field, from local streams and rock outcrops to destinations such as Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, and Canyonlands National Parks. Study glaciers in Norway, volcanoes in Japan, rivers in China, beaches in Australia, and mountains in New Zealand during semesters abroad.

Unearth the past

Southern Wisconsin was once covered by a tropical, shallow sea teeming with trilobites. Explore the rock record to understand how fossilized organisms evolved and why they went extinct.

Apply your skills to the water, climate, and energy challenges facing our society

Prepare for a career in the geosciences by designing a sustainable rain garden to reduce storm water runoff, comparing climate reconstructions in the Eocene to changes observed today, and learning about the environmental impacts of our dependence on non-renewable resources.

Fall Department Field Trip to the Baraboo Hills
Geology News

Fall Department Field Trip to the Baraboo Hills

Geology students and faculty members at Natural Bridge State Park.
Student poses near limestone wall during field research

From Forest to Sea: Examining the relationships between open ocean and terrestrial biomass

In summer 2021, Anna Weldon’22, a geology and anthropology double-major, worked with geology assistant professor Jay Zambito to understand how forest evolution impacted ancient climate.


Hanlin Zhang’21 Analyzes Hydrothermal Alteration of the Clay Cap in the Creede Mining District

Hanlin Zhang’21 is a geology major working with Jim Rougvie as his thesis advisor. His research seeks to characterize the mineralogy of the clay cap in Creede, CO.


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