Geology, the study of the Earth, covers a variety of topics, including the following:

  • plate tectonics
  • rocks, minerals, fossils
  • history of the Earth
  • Earth hazards (volcanoes, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and coastal hazards)
  • mineral and energy resources
  • surface and ground water
  • maps and cross sections (topographic and geologic)
  • structures (folds and faults)
  • landforms and their development
  • environments of deposition

Principia offers a minor in geology and a major in environmental studies with a concentration in geology. Both options provide experience with GIS mapping software as well as exposure to environmental geology.

Students planning to pursue graduate study in geology should take one year each of calculus, chemistry, and physics, complete an internship, and major in science.

What our geology students do during College
  • Visit an operating coal mine to observe mining and reclamation processes
  • Identify features in the field like sinkholes, rock falls, landslides, and rock structures
  • Correlate rock layers based on the rock characteristics and fossils
  • Interpret landscape-forming processes from features identified on topographic maps
  • Learn to observe and think like a geologist during a two-week field study in the Southern Rocky Mountain and Colorado Plateau Regions
  • Intern at a state geologic survey or with an oil company or environmental firm