Geological and Environmental Sciences
Disciplines within the geological and environmental sciences are directed
toward understanding the terrestrial system from the core of the earth
to beyond our solar system and conducting applied and basic research in
an effort to understand physical processes on and within the earth and
human influences that affect the environment.
Environmental science is the study of interactions within the earths biosphere,
concentrating on natural and man-made perturbations such as pollution.
Geology is the study of processes occurring in or on the earth.
The BS in Environmental Science prepares students for careers in areas
such as pollution remediation, resource conservation, or environmental
management, as well as providing a firm foundation for graduate studies.
The B.S. in Geology prepares students for careers or graduate education
in fields such as resource exploration, hydrogeology, or environmental
Students who pursue a BS in Geosciences must choose an option. All options
have fifteen core units in common. The science education option prepares
students who are considering teaching science in secondary school. The
option in hydrology provides a strong background in water processes, and
is recommended for students interested in careers or graduate education
in watershed management or restoration, or water contamination.
The MS in Geosciences or Environmental Science provides a framework for
advanced study and research. A thesis is required, and students in the
program may pursue any topic approved by a thesis committee. Some support
for graduate students is available in the form of teaching or research
Faculty and Facilities
In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the department, the faculty
represent diverse academic areas, complemented by industrial experience.
All have a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and engage in professional
Department equipment and facilities are extensive and include equipment
for field and laboratory work in environmental science, geology, and hydrology/hydrogeology.
Lecture courses are accompanied by laboratories and field trips. Internships
and work experience are also available to supplement course work.
The Chico Geoscience Students (CGS) is an active organization open to all
students. CGS typically hosts several field trips off campus each semester.
Many majors are also members of national organizations such as the American
Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, and the Geological
Society of America.
Employment opportunities are very good. Our graduates work for agencies
such as the California Department of Water Resources, the United States
Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, and many state
agencies. Graduates are also employed by private companies specializing
in such things as mineral and petroleum exploration, engineering or environmental
consulting, and pollution remediation.
Graduates with a bachelors degree find entry-level positions which require
a working knowledge of the geological and environmental sciences and involve
gathering and interpreting scientific data. Management and field-oriented
research positions generally require a masters degree. Students interested
in basic research or a position at a community college or university are
advised to plan on working toward a graduate degree. The career outlook
for science teachers is excellent. Geosciences majors may enter the single
subject creden-tial teaching program upon completion of their degree.
Department majors interested in maximizing their potential for graduate
school or employment should discuss with their advisers suitable minors.