The Geoscience minor provides students in the natural sciences with an opportunity to broaden and deepen their understanding of traditional areas of geoscience such as sedimentary geology, hydrogeology, geophysics, mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, structural geology, and surface processes. The minor also offers coursework that connects to other earth and environmental science programs on campus including, for example, participation in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and close collaboration with the College of Engineering to jointly train future geological engineers. We also offer courses that deal with societal problems including climate change, geohazards, the environment, and natural resources; and also courses that deal with big questions such as the origin of life in the solar system, geologic triggers for global biotic changes, and the deep-seated processes that drive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Regardless of the focus of the minor, the key learning outcome is for the student to understand how geoscientists approach problems, including development and evaluation of scientific hypotheses, ideas, and concepts within Geoscience. Our graduate courses require students to communicates complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner, an ability that will allow them to engage with and communicate with research professionals in Geoscience.
Our minor requires a minimum of 9 credits in courses involving one or more faculty from Geoscience. The coursework may focus on a single geoscience discipline (e.g. one of the traditional areas listed in the Overview), or may be multi-disciplinary across our various coursework options. Fulfillment of this option requires the approval of the graduate studies program coordinator.