Geological and Environmental Sciences Department

 Big Chico Creek

Geological and environmental sciences are directed toward understanding the terrestrial system from the core of the Earth to beyond our solar system. Students will conduct applied and basic research in an effort to understand physical processes on and within the Earth, and human influences that affect the environment. Geology is the study of processes occurring in or on the Earth. Environmental science is the study of interactions within the Earth's biosphere, concentrating on natural and man-made perturbations such as pollution.


Faculty Achievements

Dr. Rachel Teasdale
Teasdale was selected with Anthropology Professor Georgia Fox as Lantis Endowed University Chairs. She plans to use the Lantis Professorship to complete a project that is a natural extension of her teaching and research. She will work with students on cooling experiments to characterize crystallization of basaltic lava flows, including decompression experiments at the University of Bristol’s Electron Microbeam Laboratory through a collaborative partnership. The research will be presented at the Fall 2015 American Geophysical Union conference in SF. Teasdale will also work with Science Education to produce high-quality, standards-based K-12 curriculum and activities to be presented to teachers in the Summer Science Project.

Dr. Todd Greene

Greene was presented with the A.I. Levorsen award for giving the best oral presentation at the Pacific Section-American Association of Petroleum Geologists (PS-AAPG) Annual meeting in Monterey, CA (April 2013). The title of his presentation was: "Fluvial architecture of a Cascades-sourced 'paleo-Sacramento River' system within the Lower Tuscan Formation in the northern Sacramento Valley, CA".

Dr. Shane Mayor

Mayor is the recipient of the Outstanding Project Director Award. The award recognizes a project director who has been successful in securing external funds and an outstanding partner to RESP. he successfully secured more than $1.3 million in funding from the National Science Foundation to establish the Atmospheric Lidar Research Group. The group supports a postdoctoral scholar, a programmer, four graduate students and several undergraduate student assistants.

REAL: Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidar

REAL Lidar at the Chico LocationCSU Chico is the home to two world-class atmospheric lidar systems and a research group operating on the front lines of remote wind measurement.   Dr. Shane Mayor is director of the CSUC Atmospheric Lidar Research Group that maintains and operates over $2M worth of lidar equipment at the CSUC farm and supports laboratories and state-of-the-art computational resources on campus.  The Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidars (REALs) are high performance scanning lidars designed to make time-lapse imagery of the lower atmosphere.  The imagery can be used to monitor the depth of the atmospheric boundary layer and observe micro and mesoscale meteorological phenomena such as gravity waves, density current fronts, and vorticies.  They are also extremely well suited to detect dust and smoke layers aloft and observe the initial transport and dispersion of plumes of particulate matter.  The main focus of the research group is currently on the development of algorithms and software to automatically and objectively extract quantitative information such as mixed layer height and wind velocity from the imagery.


BS in Environmental Science

BS in Geology

Certificate in Hydrogeology

BS in Geosciences

Minor in Geology

Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science

MS in Environmental Sciences

MS in Geosciences

Professional Science Masters Program


Reclaiming the Sierra 2015

The Sierra Fund’s third bi-annual conference, Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush is less than a month away! Held April 20-21 in Sacramento, California, the focus of an entire conference track will be incentivizing mine reclamation to address the State's oldest environmental pollution.  More information about the four conference tracks, speakers, sponsors and tours can be found online at:

Masters Student Jeffrey Lauder receives Sally Casanova Scholar recognition

Sally Casanova Scholar is a Pre-Doctoral scholarship named for Dr. Sally Casanova. The scholarship provides funds to participate in a summer research internship program, visiting doctoral-granting institutions, travel to national symposium or professional meeting and graduate school applications and test fees.



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Events & Seminars

Seminar April 21st

Richard Allen
UC Berkely: GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lecturer
"When Plates Collide: Imagin teh roots of Cascadia's volcanoes"


Tuesday, April 21st
5:00-6:00 pm 

Physical Sciences 202

Hope to see you all there!