Academics at Fort Lewis College

Geology

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Geology majors at FLC work in the natural laboratories of the Rocky Mountains and the desert Southwest. You’ll get your hands dusty interpreting the origins of materials. You’ll examine the responsibilities of tapping into natural resources and explore their effects. You can carry your research from field work through publication. And by graduation, you’ll understand the Earth processes that are integral to the political, economic, and social decisions of the future.

Opportunities

  • Field trips – At FLC, you will have access to the natural geological laboratory that is the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. This proximity enables regional field trips and outdoor laboratory activities, which expose you to an array of geologic processes and field-based research opportunities. Furthermore, the numerous mines and oil fields in our vicinity will provide you real-world experiences in those professional fields.
  • Geology Field Camp - All Geology majors take part in the four-week summer Geology Field Camp. You’ll undertake exploration and mapping exercises in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and sometimes California.
  • Capstone research project - You’ll generate a clearly articulated hypothesis, demonstrate the use of multiple working hypotheses as an investigative method, perform a critical review of published literature, develop an experimental design, collect and analyze original data, and draw tenable conclusions. Many of our students present their research at regional and national geosciences meetings.
  • Geology Club - The club’s activities include field trips to outdoor locations, trips to gem and mineral shows, hut trips, river trips, and guest speakers.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate - Learn the integrated set of tools for storing, querying, analyzing, and displaying georeferenced information. GIS is a digital map database and set of software programs that merges theoretical and practical aspects of spatial analysis across many different disciplines.

Beyond the Degree

Once you graduate, you are qualified to apply to any related graduate program. Earning this degree also leads to careers in such fields as:

  • Archaeological geology
  • Atmospheric science
  • Cartography
  • Economic geology
  • Environmental consulting
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • GIS analysis
  • Hydrology
  • Marine geology
  • Meteorology
  • Mining geology
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology
  • Petroleum geology
  • Sedimentology
  • Seismology
  • Soil science
  • Volcanology

For any career, this degree establishes your ability to communicate complex information through written, oral, and electronic media. It demonstrates your skills in field work, information collection, the application and presentation of data, and critical evaluation of methods and results. You will be able to apply the tools, methods, and knowledge from the Geology program to any area focused on interpreting earth processes and systems.

Outcomes

Our graduates are working with these organizations:

  • ALTUS Environmental
  • Barrick Gold
  • CH2M Hill
  • Chesapeake Energy
  • ConocoPhillips
  • LT Environmental
  • Navajo Nation Oil & Gas
  • Newmont Gold Corporation
  • Southern Ute Indian Tribe
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Wright Water Engineering

Our graduates have attended these graduate schools:

  • Arizona State University
  • Baylor University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Idaho State University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Stanford University
  • University of Montana
  • University of Wisconsin
  • West Virginia University

Testimonials

“I cannot emphasize enough how important field and lab work are to the learning experience, and how glad I am that Fort Lewis has a program that takes advantage of the incredible geology surrounding Durango. This really ensured that what I learned in the classroom was solidified and made sense, and that I have the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful geologist.”

- Meghan Marsters, Class of 2008

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Tags: Undergraduate majors

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