University of Montana - Department of Geosciences

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Department of Geosciences concentrates the curriculum and resources in three areas: 1) Exploration, Development and Sustainability of Energy Resources; 2) Water Resources Sustainability and Changing Climate; 3) Revealing the Foundations of Geologic Processes, Earth History and Evolution of Life. When we attempt to sort our faculty into only one of these focus areas, we find it difficult as we strongly encourage and promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to geosciences.  We have a group of four faculty that easily group into the energy area, five faculty into the water and climate area, and four faculty into the geologic processes, earth history, and evolution group.  However, many of us contribute to more than one focus area.

Our undergraduate curriculum reflects the belief that a strong foundation in the geologic sciences is needed to become a geoscientist and requires course work in physical geology, earth history and earth materials.  We have also developed the first international degree program in geosciences in the country, a program that requires international study and brings foreign students to our department.  As a science program we require 30 credits of allied sciences in addition to meeting the course work required for one of five areas of concentration: B.S. Interdisciplinary Geosciences, B. S. Geosciences (two areas of concentration – Earth History, Evolution and Earth Resources, and Water,  Climate, and Environment), B.S. International Field Geosciences Dual Degree with University College Cork (Ireland), B.S. International Field Geosciences Dual Degree with Potsdam University (Germany), and B. S. Earth Science Education.

Our graduate program focuses studies and research within the three areas listed above: 1) Exploration, Development and Sustainability of Energy Resources; 2) Water Resources Sustainability and Changing Climate; 3) Revealing the Foundations of Geologic Processes, Earth History and Evolution of Life.  We typically have 40 percent of our graduate students in the Water Resources Sustainability and Changing Climate area and the remainder split between the two other groups.  The success of our graduate program is based on intradepartmental cooperation and collaboration as well as having an excellent group of faculty outside of our department who are actively conducting research in related areas (such as College of Forestry and Conservation, Division of Biological Sciences, Math, Chemistry, Geography, and Environmental Studies). Our research support comes principally as a result of the high performance level of our faculty who successfully compete for national grants.

Source: Department Website July 2010

Additional Info

  • Department Name: Department of Geosciences
  • Disciplines and Research Areas: Geology, Geophysics, Hydrogeology, Hydrology, Paleontology, Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
  • Degrees: BS, MS, PhD
  • State: Montana
  • City: Missoula
  • Phone: (406) 243-2341