From left, Jordan Carey '14, Alexis McAdams '14 and Matt Osman '14 standing in front of their posters at the American Geophysical Union meeting in December 2013. (More)
- About the program
- What students say
Geology majors are well-prepared for graduate school in earth and environmental sciences or law, and many majors pursue careers in earth sciences, education or business. Many geology majors also choose to minor in environmental studies or biology.
In the summer of 2013, geology majors held paid internships and jobs in:
• Dinosaur research at the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, Utah
• Subarctic lake methane flux research in Sweden with the Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduate program
• Megathrust earthquake research with the NSF Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology program
• Land and water resources experimental research at University of Minnesota through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
• Internship in the paleontology lab of the Field Museum, Chicago
• Internship with an environmental firm, Davenport, Iowa
• Geology field course in Sardinia, Italy
A sampling of what recent graduates in geology are doing:
Elizabeth Fisher '13 is a full-time preparator for the Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project at the Field Museum, Chicago
Randy Lightfoot '13 is an environmental air emissions test technician for Mostardi Platt Environmental, Elmhurst, Ill.
Maren Mathisen '12 is pursuing a master's degree in geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jeremy Hoffman '11 is working on a doctorate in glacial geology at Oregon State University. He was the first recipient of the American Geophysical Union David E. Lumley Young Scientist Scholarship for Energy and Environmental Science.
Patrick Hoefle '11 is a hydrogeologist with Natural Resource Technology in Milwaukee.
Augustana offers a major and minor in geology, as well a major in teaching earth and space sciences.
The geology department emphasizes field experiences, offering numerous local and distant field trips every year and providing opportunities for student research during the summer and the school year.
Students can earn a departmental distinction upon successful completion of both a superior senior research thesis, and the geology degree with a GPA of at least 3.5.
The geology faculty all are engaged in active research, much of which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), including Research Experiences for Undergraduates funded projects. Research projects may vary with student interest and funding. Recent projects have included experimental petrology, paleontology, geomorphology, hydrology and glacial geology. Many students participate in NSF-funded programs during the summer between junior and senior year. Students have traveled to Alaska, Mongolia, Iceland, Maine, Kamchatka, and the Caribbean Islands with such programs. The geology department also supports research and field trip experiences with additional funding.
Jeremy Hoffman ‘11, geology major, classics minor:
“Nearly every faculty member I’ve studied under at Augustana has served to help me get here, but I especially credit the extraordinary talent within our geology department with really giving me the major push forward. Without them as a rock (pun intended) to cling to, I wouldn’t have made it very far in my senior research endeavors. Learning that I could intrinsically motivate myself to sit in the mineralogy lab in the basement of Swenson Geosciences for nearly six to seven hours a day picking microscopic plankton shells out of sand last summer was perhaps the most important step in completing my Senior Inquiry project, which has catapulted me into the national undergraduate research limelight as of late. Further, it has given me confidence that I can complete any assignment given to me, whether it be academic or professional.”
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