Department of Physical Sciences

Environmental Geosciences

Interested in the outdoors? The environment? Adventure? Excellent career possibilities? The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences is a career-oriented, flexible major that merges traditional geology with applied environmental science. Our program is one of only three geology degrees offered in West Virginia and it is the only one at a primarily undergraduate institution in the state. The program currently produces the 8th highest number of degrees on campus. Concord's friendly atmosphere and small classes allow you to get to know classmates and faculty in a collaborative and safe learning environment. 

What Do Geoscientists Do?

Geoscience is the study of the Earth, including its resources, fresh water, oceans, and atmosphere. As outlined by the American Geosciences Institute, geoscientists explore, study, and monitor the Earth to protect it and the people who live on it. They seek solutions to some of our most challenging problems:

  • Finding adequate supplies of natural resources such as geothermal energy, fossil fuels, minerals, and water
  • Developing natural resources in ways that safeguard the environment
  • Maintaining the quality and sustainability of groundwater and surface water supplies
  • Reducing human loss and suffering from natural hazards and disasters, such as floods and landslides
  • Determining geologic controls on natural environments and habitats, and predicting the impact of humans
  • Understanding global climate patterns and the history of global change through geologic time
  • Understanding how naturally occurring elements and minerals behave in nature and how they affect our health
  • Advising policy makers on scientific and environmental issues that affect society

CU Geology on Social Media

CU Geology Blog:  CU in the Field    

Find us on Twitter:       

Field Work in Geology

All of our courses include field trips to study the geology of West Virginia and the surrounding Appalachians. Geoscience majors also take a 5-week summer field course in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  For more information, see Field Science Provides Unique Learning Opportunity published in the CU Alumni Magazine.  

Undergraduate Research in GeologyCU Geology field site in western Greenland

Thanks to a new NSF grant, all students in the program have the opportunity to complete undergraduate research with the geoscience faculty. Our innovative research in structural geology, earthquake geology, volcanology, and paleoclimate is funded by more than $1.2 million worth of grants that allow students to travel with us to remote field settings including Greenland, the Colorado Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest. Other projects are available using our electron microprobe laboratory, micro-X-ray fluorescence laboratory, sample preparation facilities, ground penetrating radar, and polarizing light microscopes. We can help defray the cost of college by offering an opportunity to earn income by working in the laboratory or in the field.  

Read the articles Arctic Travels and Volcanic Travels published in the CU Alumni Magazine and the article Leading Undergraduates to the Edge of Science published in The Neuron for more information about some of our undergraduate research opportunities.  

Job Outlook for Concord Graduates

Scientists with geoscience degrees are in high demand. In 2010, the average salary for geoscientists was $93,000, which was $27,000 more than the national average for other science occupations according to the American Geosciences Institute. By 2025, the US will have a shortfall of more than 135,000 new geoscientists to fill projected needs, so the job outlook is very strong. More than 95% of our recent graduates have found professional jobs soon after graduating, if not before. Most find employment as environmental or technical professionals and geoscientists in government agencies, corporations, and consulting firms. 

Additional Information

Geoscience Careers:  Geoscience Careers    •    In the Geosciences, Business is Booming​  

Hydrogeology & Water Resource Careers:  Hydrogeologists Tap in to Demand for Irreplaceable Resources 

Facilities:  Electron Microprobe Laboratory

Academics:  Degree Requirements     •     Minor in Geology     •     Courses in Geology     •     Geology Field Camp 

Contact Dr. Allen or Dr. Kuehn for more information about the program or the microprobe laboratory