Earth Sciences Program


Earth Science
Earth Science is a broad discipline that includes the study of the materials, processes, and evolution of the Earth's global systems (air, water, ice, rocks and minerals, and life forms) and their interactions. The Earth Sciences Department at SUNY Oneonta offers a program that introduces students to these diverse, but interrelated areas, and the ever increasing impact of human activities on the earth systems.

The Earth Science Program

The baccalaureate degree program in Earth Science includes six required courses distributed in the areas of Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography, and Astronomy plus selections of four additional courses from these areas, for a total of 31-32 semester hours of credit in the major. It also requires one year each of introductory chemistry and physics, an introductory statistics course, and one additional selection in mathematics.

The College Catalog describes individual courses, other programs offered by the Department, and specific requirements in greater detail.

Faculty and Students
The Earth Sciences Department consists of nine Ph.D. faculty: six geologists, two meteorologists, and one oceanographer. In the history of our department, seven faculty have received SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and three have earned the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor. The Earth Sciences faculty are committed to excellent teaching, student mentoring and advisement, and professional development. We emphasize a close rapport between faculty and students, advising them on course selection, as well as academic expectations and career opportunities. We involve our majors in a variety of academic clubs, joint student-faculty research, and Department seminars and workshops.

Career Opportunities

The Earth Science degree is designed to be a science-based liberal arts degree. It is not intended to train professional earth scientists. Other baccalaureate programs in the Earth Sciences department (Geology, Water Resources, Meteorology) are designed to prepare students for these specific disciplines. The program requires the same science content courses as the secondary Earth Science Education degree (with one course exception see the College Catalog for details) allowing students the option of changing between these two programs or dual majoring with minimal scheduling problems. Our Earth Science degree provides the student with problem-solving, communication, and information-processing skills necessary for many entry-level positions, especially those requiring science and technology awareness. Graduates of our program have entered careers in environmental protection, teaching, governmental agencies and space exploration.