From studying contaminated soil and groundwater to observing the impacts of flooding and landslides, environmental geologists monitor issues, mitigate hazards and maximize benefits of natural resources. If you’re interested in hydrogeology, natural hazards, environmental consulting or informing policy with research, you’ll find a rewarding career in the field of environmental geology.
Explore the dynamic relationship between humans and their geologic environment.
Environmental geology focuses on the interactions between people and the physical Earth. At Western Colorado University, you’ll have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience conducting fieldwork in the nearby Elk, West Elk and San Juan ranges; the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gold Belt; the active tectonics of the Rio Grande Rift and more. You can also apply for scholarships and research stipends to conduct original research through the Bartleson-Prather Fund and collaborate with faculty to get your work published. A comprehensive understanding of environmental geology will prepare you for a meaningful career as a hydrologist, environmental consultant or public policy researcher.
Research in the field
Geology students have opportunities to explore the Elk, West Elk and San Juan ranges; the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gold Belt; the active tectonics of the Rio Grande Rift and more.
At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.
|CHEM 111||General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)||3||View|
|CHEM 112||General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)||1||View|
|CHEM 113||General Chemistry II||3||View|
|CHEM 114||General Chemistry Laboratory II||1||View|
|GEOG 340||Introduction to Geographic Information Systems||3||View|
|GEOL 101||Physical Geology (GT-SC2)||3||View|
|GEOL 105||Physical Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)||1||View|
|GEOL 201||Historical Geology (with laboratory)||4||View|
|GEOL 302||Geoscience Writing||2||View|
|GEOL 305||Mineralogy (with laboratory)||4||View|
|GEOL 310||Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (with laboratory)||4||View|
|GEOL 311||Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (with laboratory)||4||View|
|GEOL 320||Geomorphology (with laboratory)||4||View|
|GEOL 335||Introduction to Engineering Geology||3||View|
|GEOL 345||Structural Geology (with laboratory)||4||View|
|GEOL 352||Applied Geophysics (with laboratory)||3||View|
|GEOL 362||Environmental Geochemistry||3||View|
|GEOL 411||Research in Volcanology and Petrology (with laboratory)||3||View|
|GEOL 420||Research in Geomorphology (with laboratory)||3||View|
|GEOL 450||Field Geology||4||View|
|GEOL 465||Research in Basin Analysis (with laboratory)||3||View|
|MATH 151||Calculus I (GT-MA1)||4||View|
|MATH 251||Calculus II||4||View|
|PHYS 170||Principles of Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)||4||View|
|PHYS 171||Principles of Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)||4||View|
|PHYS 200||General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)||4||View|
|PHYS 201||General Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)||4||View|
Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.
Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.
The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.
Alumni Association Future Alumni ScholarshipThe Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western. Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.
- This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
- Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
- GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).
Alumni Legacy Scholarship
The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).
Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:
- This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
- Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
- The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
- The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
- GPA must be 2.0 or above (high school or college of transfer).
The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.
Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship
The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.
Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).
- Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
- The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
- The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.
The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western's highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.
There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.
For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.
Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.
For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.
Make your education a life changing experience.
A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.
- Fieldwork: Students explore the Elk, West Elk and San Juan ranges; the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gold Belt; the active tectonics of the Rio Grande Rift and more.
- Geology Club: The Geology Club is active in fundraising for student experiences, including field trips and attending professional conferences.
- Geology Scholarships and Awards: Four annual scholarships, from generous geology alumni donations, are awarded to geology students to help offset educational costs.
- Research Funding: The Bartleson-Prather Fund provides students with scholarships and research stipends.
A strong foundation
Geology students study topics such as minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and the origin of landscapes by mass wasting, rivers, glaciers, ground water, and nearshore processes.