The Field

The primary objectives of geology are to understand the processes that constantly change the earth and other terrestrial planets, and to decipher the history of the earth and terrestrial planets from the time of origin of the solar solar system to the present day.  Achieving these objectives involves diverse activities.  Geologists study active natural features such as coastlines, glaciers, volcanoes, mountains, lakes and rivers. Geologic mapping of rocks, sediments and other features is done to learn of past events and conditions, and field/laboratory studies are conducted to determine fundamental chemical and physical properties of minerals, rocks, sediments, surface and groundwaters.  Geology also involves finding and developing resources such as groundwater aquifers, minerals, and energy sources, as well as managing geologic relationships and processes.  Efforts in the field of geosciences and in the department focus on the study of climate history, earth surface- and near-surface processes such as hydrology and sedimentology, and the study of the structure and materials of the solid earth.

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