Hands on problem-solving, field studies, and research. Exploration and adventure included.
Geology/Earth Science is the investigation of modern and ancient Earth’s physical and chemical processes and their submicroscopic- to planetary-scale products and events. Earth scientists study the planet’s mountain ranges, continents, oceans, and landforms, and it’s internal structure and motion. We address such basic societal needs as the exploration and management of water and mineral resources, sustainable development of energy, and natural hazard prediction.
Our strong emphasis on field studies, outdoor experience, and hands-on problem solving results in graduates with solid field and laboratory skills that are used to solve Earth-related problems in industry, graduate school, government and the military. Students are involved in a small and vibrant learning community with professors that are both respected teachers and active researchers in New England, arctic Canada, Europe, the South Pacific, and the southwestern U.S. All students have the opportunity to travel to the desert southwest and across the northeast on program-sponsored trips. Each student conducts original research in collaboration with a faculty member, starting the student on the path to scientific investigation in the professional world. The job market in Earth Science is strong and the opportunity for travel, exploration, and adventure is high.
Located amid the Green Mountains of Vermont, Norwich is ideally situated for unhurried and unhampered studies of the Earth. The Geology program provides a broad background in the physical sciences with emphasis on geology and its pivotal role in understanding our environment.
Our strong emphasis on field studies and outdoor experience results in students having experiential learning both in their courses and on department field trips, such as recent trips in southern Utah, west Texas, southern California, central Arizona and throughout New England and eastern Canada.
Geology courses are presented by faculty who are both respected teachers and active researchers in New England, Europe and the western U.S. Courses include real projects and original research participation.
Our graduates are successful and prepared to go on to graduate school or begin work in industry, consulting, or state and federal surveys.
The Earth Science program is equipped a with full sample prep lab featuring diamond saws, grinders, pulverizers, separators, and other gear. As well as an X-ray diffraction laboratory, a scanning electron microscope with electron dispersive and wavelength dispersive spectroscopy capabilities, and a range of geophysical exploration equipment. This includes a gravity meter, seismograph, magnetometer, electromagnetometer, and ground penetrating radar.
Following fusion and dissolution, chemical analysis of rock, mineral, and soil samples is carried out in our ICAP spectrometer lab, which also provides an analytical capability for studies of ground and surface water. Equipment for the collection and analysis of sediment and soil is housed in the program with further analytical capabilities housed in associated programs on campus.
Prof. Rick Dunn, PhD
An expert at reconstructing ancient landscapes and environments, Dana Professor of Geology Rick Dunn, PhD, chairs the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Norwich University. His insights inform the work of archaeological projects throughout the Mediterranean and, more recently, Easter Island. Recent and ongoing projects include a Neolithic cave site in Europe and archaeological sites of the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, and ancient Greeks.
To view course offerings and a curriculum map for majoring or minoring in geology (a.k.a. earth science), see the Norwich University academic course catalog: