New Major Combines Geology, Environmental Science

New Major Combines Geology, Environmental Science

02/16/2018 

SUNY Cortland’s Geology Department has a new major, environmental geoscience, that’s ideal for students who are interested in studying earth science and environmental issues.

“Our majors can work with issues such as water pollution, stream bank erosion and flooding,” said David Barclay, chair of the Geology Department. “They can get involved with pretty much anything to do with the land surface, soil and water.”

The environmental geoscience major replaces an environmental science concentration that was embedded within the geology program. Students in that concentration will be able to graduate with their current program or change to the new major next academic year if they prefer, Barclay said.

The new major will be offered formally to new students who enroll in Fall 2018.

“Environmental geoscience is an interdisciplinary field,” Barclay said. “Students in our major will take a core of courses in geology and environmental science so that they are well-grounded in these areas. Additional courses, including ecology and geographic information systems, provide breadth in other sciences and useful technical skills. Electives enable students to further explore areas that interest them.”

Environmental geoscience majors also are required to complete a related internship. As with the former concentration, this applied learning opportunity could be with a non-profit agency geared to protecting the environment, a nature preserve, a government agency, a local soil and water conservation district, a landfill operation or an environmental consulting company.

“Many environmental problems require an understanding of earth systems and physical geology in order to be solved,” Barclay said. “Graduates from this program will be well prepared to make a difference with these societal concerns.”

Graduates from the former concentration have gone on to careers with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, local soil and water agencies and private companies, he said. The new major will continue to prepare students for these career pathways.

Graduate school is another option for those who earn a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geoscience.

“Our students compete well going into graduate programs elsewhere,” Barclay said. “The strong emphasis on science helps our Cortland graduates stand out from students from other environmental programs.”

SUNY Cortland’s new major also is rather unique in the state.

“There are other environmental science and environmental studies programs in New York but they tend to have more emphasis on biology or policy,” Barclay said. “Ours is different because we emphasize the geology that is critical for understanding environmental problems in water and at the land surface.”


More News

Campus Welcomes New Police Puppy

Campus Welcomes New Police Puppy

K-9 Red was a hit with administrators when he paid a visit Dec. 20.


Purcell Named Hispanic Leadership Institute Fellow

Purcell Named Hispanic Leadership Institute Fellow

The Institute's goal is to help SUNY faculty and staff build leadership skills.


SUNY Cortland’s Kyle Richard Won Orange Bowl Courage Award

SUNY Cortland’s Kyle Richard Won Orange Bowl Courage Award

Richard was the first Division III player to be nominated for the award since it was established.


Rhonda McLaughlin Honored for Outstanding Service

Rhonda McLaughlin Honored for Outstanding Service

A total of 46 employees were also recognized for milestone years of service.


SUNY Cortland Ranked Best in State for Health and Wellness Majors

SUNY Cortland Ranked Best in State for Health and Wellness Majors

The ranking factored in career results, admissions rates, graduation rates and cost of attendance.


SUNY Cortland Supports CROP Hunger Walk

SUNY Cortland Supports CROP Hunger Walk

Campus community helps raise $12,700 to fight hunger both locally and worldwide.


Ticket Sales Soaring for 2019 Cortaca Jug Game at MetLife Stadium

Ticket Sales Soaring for 2019 Cortaca Jug Game at MetLife Stadium

SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College are already more than halfway toward setting a new national attendance record for a Division III football game.


Open House Put GIS Major on the Map

Open House Put GIS Major on the Map

Visitors flocked to learn about computer mapping and create a map with their hometowns.


Series to Document Czechoslovakia Occupation

Series to Document Czechoslovakia Occupation

The College will screen five historic "Occupation 1968" films Nov. 28 and 29.


SUNY Cortland Joins 21-Campus Renewable Energy Coalition

SUNY Cortland Joins 21-Campus Renewable Energy Coalition

The Colleges hope to encourage development of large renewable energy projects