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Major in Geology

The Department of Geology is committed to preparing all Beloit College students to be responsible citizens of planet Earth. Our program promotes an understanding of how earth systems operate and evolve and how humans interact with the environment. This understanding is accomplished through an interdisciplinary approach that integrates knowledge across the sciences and through the development of strong skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

In addition, we strive to prepare students to be competent professionals in geology, capable of pursuing graduate studies and/or careers in the earth sciences and related disciplines. Graduates will be able to recognize and engage a variety of scientific problems. Their solutions to those problems will be informed by a social conscience sensitive to both the possibilities and limitations of the finite resources of the planet.

We offer two majors:

Geology Major: The disciplinary geology major provides an understanding of earth processes and the evolution of life forms on Earth.

Environmental Geology Major: The interdisciplinary environmental geology major provides an understanding of how soil, water, and mineral resources form and involves the practical application of geologic principles in the solving of environmental problems.

If you are interested in learning more about the Department of Geology, please contact one of the geology faculty members!


GEOLOGY Cover March 2013

The cover of the March, 2013, issue of GEOLOGY featured this spectacular photo of Lower Mississippian crinoids of the Maynes Creek Formation in central Iowa from Beloit College's B.H. Beane Crinoid Collection. In this deposit, different crinoid species are preserved in different, distinct colors ranging from white to dark gray. Presumably some intrinsic biotic differences among the living animals remain within these ~350 million-year-old fossils. As described in O’Malley et al. [this issue, “Isolation and characterization of the earliest taxon-specific organic molecules (Mississippian, Crinoidea),” p. 347–350], taxon-specific biomarkers can be isolated from Mississippian crinoids. More information on the research project is available from Ohio State University Photo by William Ausich, Ohio State University.