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Fieldwork will be a vital part of your studies. You may find yourself working with other students and faculty members in Tasmania or the Pacific Northwest, and you’ll regularly get out into the field in Central New York. Professors will encourage you to collaborate with them on projects in and out of the classroom.

About the Major

Hamilton’s geosciences program exemplifies the College’s approach to the liberal arts: It is interdisciplinary, innovative and driven by student research.

The quaint stereotype of the "rock scientist" is ancient history. The geosciences have grown deeply interdisciplinary as scientists focus on distant planets, climate change and the environment. And the field has become a crucial part of the scientific effort to preserve the Earth for future generations.

I had good professors while I was abroad, but just coming back, the first few sessions of classes, reminded just how cool it is to be around people that are at the very top of their game.

Sam Bernstein ’17 — geosciences major, history minor

Careers After Hamilton

  • Exploration Geologist, Pioneer Natural Resources
  • Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Senior Analyst, NBC Universal Media
  • Coastal Oceanographer, Applied Coastal Research & Engineering
  • Science/Math Teacher, Friends Central School
  • Geologist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Geoscientist, Exxon Mobil
  • Chief Regulatory Officer, Cape Cod Commission
  • Captain, U.S. Marine Corps

Contact Information


Geosciences Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4698 315-859-4807 geosciences@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Principles of Geoscience: Geology and Human Events in North Africa and the Middle East 103F


An interdisciplinary study exploring the influence of environment, water resources, climate change and bedrock geology of North Africa and the Middle East on prehistory, history, international relations and prospects for the future. Special emphasis on developing GIS skills. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning. Oral Presentations. Proseminar.

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Principles of Geoscience: The Marine Environment 112S


An introduction to the physical, chemical and biological nature of the marine environment. Topics include marine geology, seawater composition, atmosphere/climate, ocean circulation, waves, tides, coastal processes, life in the sea, ocean resources and marine pollution. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Meteorology 240F


A study of the atmospheric environment. Topics include the Earth’s atmosphere, temperature, humidity, condensation, cloud development, precipitation, winds, air masses, storms and climate. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory/discussion. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Advanced Hydrogeology and the Environment 309F


Advanced topics in hydrogeology, including geochemical principles, an introduction to contaminant transport, computer modeling of groundwater flow and studies of landfills, hazardous waste sites and other environmental problems. Three hours of class and two hour lab/discussion with field trips. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis 352F


Theory, practice and application of the scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis to selected research projects.

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GIS for Geoscientists 380S


Introduction to basic concepts in computer-based GIS emphasizing hands-on practice in portraying and analyzing spatially referenced data sets to produce a variety of types of digital products and to solve geologic problems. Practice using data from multiple sources, including data downloaded from online sources, field-collected data and published map data. Emphasis on mastery of basic skills and techniques using ESRI ArcGIS software. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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