LETTER FROM OUR CHAIR
For additional information:
Dr. Jerome Blechman, Chair
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department
Oneonta, NY 13820-4015
1-800-SUNY-123 ext. 3707
Welcome to the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Thank you very much for visiting. If you are looking for programs in Geology, Meteorology, or Earth Science, you’ve come to the right place. Completing our curricula will earn you a Bachelor of Science degree in one of these geoscience fields. From there you will be prepared to compete for a job right out of college or go on to graduate study at any college or university in the country. Our goal is to “teach and mentor students to understand the interactions among Earth systems and society” and we take this very seriously. SUNY-Oneonta is a teaching college and students are the #1 priority for faculty in EAS. We have lots to offer:
- Three of the faculty have been awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Two have received the John Moss Award for Excellence in College Teaching from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. One member is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and received the SUNY Oneonta Outstanding Academic Advisement Award. In the history of the department, 4 faculty have attained the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor.
- Total numbers of majors (January, 2016): 90
Meteorology: 20, Geology: 44, Water Resources: 6, Earth Science (most are dual majors in Education): 20
- Average class size in upper division courses in majors: 12
- We offer a unique pre-semester field experience for incoming freshmen called GEOFYRST (Geologic Experience Outdoors First Year Regional Summer Trip). The learning experience shared by these students is continued in a special section of Introduction to Geology that is only available to GEOFYRST participants See the field trip website http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/earths/GEOFYRST.asp for more information. GEOFYRST is supported by the Clement Fund for Field Experiences in the Geosciences.
- We occupy a recently renovated building and have significant new instrumentation: Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (SEM-EDS), X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, electromagnetic induction profiler, ground-penetrating radar, thin-section machine, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer, total station, differential GPS, Weather Radiosonde, etc.
- Each year we award five to seven scholarships, which have been endowed by alumni contributions, memorial contributions from alumni families or contributions from emeritus faculty or their families. Each scholarship is between $600 and $2400. These include the QTZ Scholarship, the Peter Knightes Scholarship, the M. Ira Dubins Memorial Scholarship, the Robert Caputo ‘84 Memorial Scholarship and the Scholarship for Excellence in Geology, Water Resources and Earth Science. The P. Jay Fleisher Scholarship supports student researchers.
- Every fall we bestow mini-scholarships called “book awards” to outstanding freshmen, sophomore, and junior majors. These awards are funded by alumni contributions.
- We provide a cash prize and certificate for the Philo C. Wilson Outstanding Graduating Senior.
- Faculty research is most typically done in conjunction with undergraduate students. Numerous students have presented their results at national and regional conferences. Some have even published in scientific journals.
- Participation of students in conferences is subsidized partially by alumni contributions to our Field Experiences Fund.
- We host a very active Meteorology Club, Geology Club and chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national honor society for the geosciences.
- We host the ESPRIT listserv for Earth Science teachers, which has over 2000 subscribers from 26 states.
- We host the nationally recognized Oneonta Earth Science Outreach Program (ESOP), which enables high schools to offer geoscience courses for Oneonta college credit.
- We offer a variety of extended field trips. Recent trips have visited the Mojave Desert/Mecca Hills area of California, Death Valley and Anza Borrego. These trips are supported by the Clement Fund for Field Experiences in the Geosciences.
- Entry-level job opportunities are excellent for graduates from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth in the geosciences at an annual rate of 19%, more than double for other career areas. As a result of this shortage of geoscientists, starting salaries are skyrocketing.