Environmental geosciences

Environmental geoscientists study the natural processes that control our environment and the associated impacts of human activities. They address a range of issues, water and soil quality in urban and rural settings, natural resource exploration and management (bioremediation, metals, sand, and aggregate mining), and mitigation of natural hazards (flooding, landslides, and climate change).

Environmental geoscientists are interested in understanding the processes that occur within, and interactions between, the atmosphere, ocean, and land to ensure human activity on our planet is sustainable. Environmental geoscientists are employed in industry, government, non-profit organizations, and academia.

The number of geosciences jobs in the United States is expected to grow by about 135,000 jobs by the year 2022, according to the American Geosciences Institute.


• Environmental consultant
• Geophysicist
• Geologist
• Hydrogeologist
• Exploration geologist
• Contaminant remediation
• Soil conservationist
• Water management specialist

What will I study?

The curriculum is highly interdisciplinary and you will acquire a strong foundation in the geologic processes that govern water, soil, and natural resource development. You will also gain a range of transferable skills, including written and oral reporting, critical analysis and data interpreting, and group work.

Prerequisites include chemistry, physics, calculus, and statistics.

Major courses include classes in mineralogy, geochemistry, environmental geophysics, hydrogeology, geomicrobiology, and geographic information systems (GIS).

In addition to courses taught in the classroom, you will complete two fieldwork courses during the summer of your sophomore and/or junior year. These courses allow you to put your classwork into practice.

Major and career exploration resources