Catherine Beck studies East African sediments and changes in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment.
We live on a geologically active planet. This is a good thing – it means land for us to live on, resources that we depend on, and a hugely varying environment that has profoundly influenced the evolution of life as we know it. The downside is that humans worldwide cope both with natural geologic hazards and with human-caused risks that stem from not adequately taking into account how the Earth works.
About the Major
Geoscience matters to all of us. Whether you want to be a geoscientist or to pursue another career path, Hamilton’s Geoscience program will give you experience in analyzing geoscience questions from a scientific and societal perspective with tools drawn from the various ways geoscientists approach problems.
You will work closely and collaboratively with faculty and fellow students in the lab and field to study modern active geological processes and the archive of past Earth processes in the rock record. You will gain experience in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting critical data, and in communicating essential ideas both to advance the science and to make a difference for our future Earth.
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 — geosciences major, history minor
Careers After Hamilton
- Professional Geologist, Geosyntec Consultants
- Geohazards Program Manager, Colorado Department of Transportation
- Science Curriculum Development for Visiting K-12 Field Trips, Moab Museum, Utah
- Water and Natural Resources Attorney, Somach, Simmons, and Dunn
- Post-doctoral Researcher, USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory
- Field Instructor, Voyageur Outward Bound School
- Rockies Geologic Operations Manager, Occidental Petroleum
- Agricultural Science Teacher, Madison Central Schools
- Mineral Commodity Specialist, U.S. Geological Survey
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, pursuing an Md.
- Principal Resource Geologist, Newmont Australia
- Professor of Marine Geology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Senior Associate for Acquisitions, Prime Group, San Francisco
- Captain, U.S. Marine Corps
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.View All Courses
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.View All Courses
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 (TBA) of laboratory/discussion. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.View All Courses
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.View All Courses
An examination of active volcanic processes on Earth through focused case studies and laboratory based projects. Emphasis placed on the physical and chemical processes involved in the origin and evolution of volcanic systems.View All Courses
GIS for Geoscientists 380
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 Pro software. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.View All Courses
Connections and Careers
Because Hamiltonians Take On Climate Change: Drew Christ ’11
Research and Discovery
Studying Oregon’s Volcanic Field in Clinton, N.Y.
The mantra “study what you love” encourages students to venture into previously unfamiliar fields. Bria Dox ’22, for example, took advantage of Hamilton’s academic diversity to discover her passions for mineralogy and volcanology. This summer, she dove deeper into these fields through a geoscience research project, analyzing the mineral chemistry of rocks from Oregon’s Sand Mountain volcanic field.
Connections and Careers
Because Hamiltonians Love Red Rocks: Mary Langworthy ’17
She works for what she and her colleagues call a “60-year-old start-up,” which is situated in a region of canyons and otherworldly rock formations. Mary Langworthy ’17 can explain why the rocks are red in Red Rock Country and pretty much anything else a visitor could want to know about the Colorado Plateau.