Geoscience is the interface between humans and the environment.

Geologists find energy and material resources for our endeavors. They investigate the fate and transport of contaminants we generate in the air, waters, and soils of our planet. An inherently cross disciplinary field that applies the fundamentals of chemistry, physics, and biology to novel problems—using the lens of deep time to understand how present-day processes, and to describe potential future scenarios of phenomena like climate change.

Life After Lawrence

Lawrentians enjoy careers as...

Senior scientists, geologists, water testers, environmental consultants, national lab researchers, mining and energy industries, petroleum geology, energy consultants, college professors

Recent employers include...

Maryland Department of the Environment, Providence Engineering & Environmental Group, Exxon Corp, Pacific Science Center, Resolute Energy Corporation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, state Departments of Natural Resources

Lawrentians have gone on for advanced degrees in...

Geology, engineering, environmental science

At places like...

Duke, Idaho State, Miami (OH), Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Utah, Vanderbilt

Field-based study is the heart of our program.

Take a seminar in field geology to locales of natural beauty and geological intrigue. Past trips have included Scotland, Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, the Adirondacks, and Appalachians. Appleton is close to classical geological localities and ancient volcanoes, a fossil forest, and a world-renowned glacial landscape.

Petrographic microscopes and Cathode Luminescence? (Yes please.)

Enhance your studies with the top-class technology, including our physical modeling lab to investigate surface and subsurface processes, advanced computing for spatial analysis, and geochemical modeling software.

What’s New on Mars?

Enjoy this and other deep specialty courses like “Apocalypses of the Earth, Solar System and Universe,” Paleoenvironmental Proxies, and Physical Modeling of Earth Processes.

Present your research at global programs…

such as the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, the Association of American Geographers, and the Institute of Lake Superior Geology.

A Sample of Courses in the Major

  • Intro to the Geosciences
  • Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics
  • Elementary Statistics, Applied Calculus I or Calculus I
  • Principles of Mechanics or Principles of Classical Physics
  • History of Earth and Life
  • The Material World
  • Hot Rocks

  • Surficial Processes

  • Remote Sensing of the Environment

  • Tectonophysics
  • Climate and Climate Change
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Field Seminar
  • Junior Seminar
  • Senior Experience

Senior Experiences

Building on a junior seminar and senior capstone that engages you in the scientific process on your way to becoming a scientific practitioner (e.g., framing testable hypotheses, collecting and analyzing meaningful datasets, and developing models of geologic phenomena), you’ll apply your skills to a particular project or problem in the earth sciences. 

Recent Senior Experiences include:


A Previously Unrecognized Impact Structure at Brussels Hill (Door County, Wis.)

Comparison of Morphometric Parameters of Terrestrial and Martian Alluvial Channels

Soil Lead in Sierra Leonean Schoolyards: An Analysis of Tropical Soils

A physical model of sediment transport with and without storm water management

Petrographic characterization of the Penokean age (ca. 1.4 Ga)