Earth science is the study of our planet, its interior, its surface, its oceans, and its atmosphere. The Earth is always changing, in many ways imperceptibly to humans, but in other ways we can see and measure at rates that are influenced by human activities. If you want to understand how and why these changes occur, and use your science skills to find solutions to problems for society that arise because of them, an Earth sciences major may be perfect for you.

Some of the ways Earth scientists use their expertise include:

  • understanding how the Earth can provide water, energy and food for our growing population
  • locating and developing energy and mineral resources
  • studying how humans impact the environment and designing ways to protect it
  • working to predict events such as landslides, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions and helping communities plan to limit their impact

Minerals, rocks, fossils, water in rivers, lakes, underground and locked in ice, are all studied in the Earth sciences, as are the processes that produce earthquakes, mountains, volcanoes, the oceans and the atmosphere. You will use tools from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and those unique to the Earth sciences to understand how the Earth system works, how it has evolved, and how it is always changing.

Careers

  • Environmental scientist/consultant
  • Climate specialist
  • Exploration geophysicist
  • Geologist
  • Geoarcheologist
  • Geobiologist
  • Geochemist
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Mining geologist
  • Landscape restoration
  • Oil field services
  • Research scientist
  • Soil scientist
  • University or college professor
  • Water resources manager

What you’ll study

The earth sciences program is an incredibly interdisciplinary field that provides you with a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, and geophysics. You are encouraged to choose from several elective courses to meet your interests and match your talents. Within the curriculum, you may choose a broad-based academic program, or choose to focus on one specialty area.

Research and teaching facilities in the earth sciences program are among the best in the world. Research laboratories are well-equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation.