Environmental Geology

Bachelor of Science

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.

Program Overview

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.

Courses

Code Title Credits Description
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 430 Hydrogeology 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

Careers

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.

Scholarships

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 Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant. For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

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.

News & Research

Western professor publishes book focused on sustainability in business

Western professor publishes book focused on sustainability in business

Read More
Western professors, grad students advocate for sustainability at UN Food and Agriculture Organization meeting

Western professors, grad students advocate for sustainability at UN Food and Agriculture Organization meeting

Read More
Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Read More
Western’s MEM program helps start ecological restoration in Gunnison Valley

Western’s MEM program helps start ecological restoration in Gunnison Valley

Read More

Get Involved

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.

Department Chairperson

Robin A. Bingham, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Administrative Assistant

Samantha Siegfried

Administrative Assistant for NES and MCS

Contact Information

970.943.2015

rbingham@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Hurst Hall 128
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231