Geological Sciences Major

Sample Courses

  • Applied Geophysics
  • Geochemistry
  • Geomorphology
  • Historical Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Paleontology
  • Petrology
  • Physical Geology
  • Structural Geology

Popular Electives

  • Advanced Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Basin Analysis
  • Dinosaurs
  • Groundwater Hydrology
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Planetary Geology
  • Remote Sensing
  • Tectonics

Recent Internships

  • American Rock Salt Company
  • City of Rochester
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Recent Field Experiences

  • Summer field course in Iceland
  • Environmental health sediment studies in the Finger Lakes 
  • Mineralogy and archaeological fieldwork in the Adirondacks
  • Paleontology and stratigraphy fieldwork in Ohio
  • Yellowstone National Park, associated with an NSF-REU

Alumni Spotlight

Melissa Hartwig ‘18

Major: Geophysics

Career: As a student, Hartwig researched paleomagnetism and presented her findings related to rocks from the Kii peninsula (Japan) at the Geological Society of America national meeting. Now a polarizing light microscopy analyst at EMSL Analytics, she helps identify the presence of hazardous asbestiform minerals in a wide variety of materials, from air samples to floor tiles.

Geological Sciences Major

Why study geological sciences at Geneseo?

The geological sciences program is a great fit for students interested in the Earth, the environment, or even the nature of the environment on other planets. Geology students tend to enjoy activities outdoors—which is, after all, the real laboratory of the geoscientist. But they also have an intense curiosity about how Earth (and other planets) evolved and how their environment is changing due to both natural and human forces. They learn that this curiosity, raised by their observations of Earth (and beyond), can be satisfied by applying knowledge gained in their science courses. 
Geology students have opportunities to learn through field work as well as in the laboratory, and each student pursues a research project and formally presents their findings. Geology is an applied science, with career opportunities in government, industry, and the teaching profession for geologists, geochemists, geobiologists, and geophysicists. 


Program Options

Additional Options

Program Highlights

  • Analytical instrumentation used in coursework and research projects, including a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), an X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), paleomagnetism equipment, a drone equipped with an IR camera, and more.
  • Access to a computer lab with software used for GIS work and significant GIS resources for the Earth and other planets.
  • Strong tradition of a bi-annual two-week capstone field experience in locations such as Chile, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and Death Valley.
  • Professional development opportunities for students, such as HazWOpER training, service-learning, and professional geologist exam preparation.
  • Strong departmental support for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Financial support available for students’ participation in activities such as capstone field experience, summer research, course field trips, and national meetings. 
  • Grants from national agencies (such as NSF and NASA) for scholarship programs, faculty and student research, adjunct instructors, and participation in international meetings.
  • Certified state-licensure qualifying program for Professional Geologists in NYS (BA in geological sciences).  

Example Careers

  • Ceramic Scientist
  • Drone Operator
  • Environmental Consultant
  • GIS Technician
  • Glass Scientist
  • K–12 educator
  • Microscopist
  • Mining Geologist
  • Museum Curator
  • Oil and Gas Industry Geologist
  • Park Ranger
  • Soil Analyzer

Recent Employers

  • Apple
  • City of Rochester
  • Laurel Environmental Consultants
  • EMSL Analytical, Inc.
  • Geocorps
  • LaBella Associates Architecture
  • NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • PBS Engineering and Environmental
  • Stantec, Inc.
  • State of California Forest Service

Recent Grad Schools

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Central Washington University
  • Cornell University
  • Stony Brook University
  • Texas Tech
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Miami-Ohio
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Montana
  • University of Waterloo
  • Wesleyan University

Contact Info

Scott Giorgis, Professor and Chair of Geology
ISC 254

Dori Farthing, Associate Professor of Geology
Program Director for Geochemistry
ISC 235A


Geology Faculty

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