Environmental geoscientists work to discover and implement ways for an expanding population to live on a finite Earth, while productively managing natural resources, mitigating the threat of hazards and protecting Earth’s fragile ecosystems.
The B.S. in Environmental Geoscience combines a broad foundation in geology with a thorough background in related sciences and mathematics. This degree provides you with more applied and interdisciplinary science skills than the Geology B.S. or B.A.
By completing courses in a wide range of disciplines and topics, you'll gain a comprehensive knowledge of Earth's terrestrial environmental systems and their materials, processes and relationship to human society. Your college work will be multidisciplinary, providing a foundation in chemistry, physics, ecology and math.
For the Environmental Geoscience degree, coursework focuses on hydrogeology, applied and engineering geology, field and computer mapping, Earth-surface processes, geochemistry and geophysics, all framed within the human dimension of geology. Advanced students develop and complete an independent research project, and are strongly encouraged to complete a summer field course.
You'll have opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience outside of the classroom, which will strengthen your capability as a student and build professional geoscience skills. Best of all, you'll find new friends and expand your resume in the process!
Environmental geoscience students have opportunities to participate with faculty and graduate students in research that addresses critical problems related to managing and protecting Earth's fragile environments. Topics range widely, for example, from characterizing available water resources for fossil fuel development, designing better agricultural drains, understanding the physical factors that affect rare and threatened species, to establishing hazards related to mining and minerals.
Internships and Active Learning
Students with geoscience skills are in great demand among many governmental agencies, industries, non-profit organizations and private companies. Internships are an excellent way to earn academic credit while working or providing volunteer service. In addition to these typically summer opportunities, laboratory and field experience are integral to most geoscience courses, giving you critical experience that can't be gained in the conventional classroom or through online courses. By completing your required senior capstone research project, you’ll sample what it's like beyond school when you are working as a professional environmental geoscientist. Take advantage of this to deepen your knowledge or expand on a research topic you’re passionate about.
Clubs and Organizations
Meet with students outside of class to plan events and field trips. The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Association of Undergraduate Geologists (AUG), and the Environmental Restoration clubs are among the more than 275 student organizations on campus.
Typically, environmental geoscientists work closely with engineers and environmental scientists. Graduates with a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience are in an excellent position to fulfill the requirements for national and state certification as a professional geologist. Completion of your degree will qualify you to work in various environmental geoscience fields, including:
- Evaluation and mitigation of natural hazards (earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc.)
- Hydrological and environmental field monitoring
- Characterization and remediation design of contaminated sites
- Site selection for waste disposal and other critical land-use activities
- Water resource management
These fields of study apply to many industries, businesses and governmental agencies including:
- Engineering and environmental consulting firms
- Mining and mineral industry
- Nonprofit conservation and environmental organizations
- Oil and gas industry
- Public and private laboratories
- Various state and federal geological, natural resource and environmental protection agencies
Continuing at the graduate level at UND or another institution is another option, with opportunities to branch into fields such as geography, ecology, hydrology, engineering and environmental policy.
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