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Environmental Geoscience

If you enjoy studying earth science and see yourself working to address environmental issues, our environmental geoscience major is for you. You’ll be prepared for a rewarding career that deals with major societal concerns related to land surface, soil and water. As a geoscience-oriented environmental scientist, you can go work with a private company, government agency or in many other settings.

Career Potential

  • Environmental geoscientist
  • Watershed specialist
  • Hydrologist or hydrogeologist

What Will I Learn?

  • Explore an interdisciplinary field rooted in geology and environmental science
  • Add useful technical skills in areas such as ecology and geographic information systems
  • Address topics such as water pollution, stream bank erosion and flooding
  • Pursue fieldwork embedded in almost every geology course
  • Learn research skills for modern environmental science
  • Develop scientific writing and presentation skills for professional development at the Geological Society of America Conference

 Special Features

  • Required internships available with environmental consulting companies, soil and water conservation districts, nature preserves, government agencies and non-profit organizations
  • New laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation came with a $43 million science center renovation in 2014
  • Easy access to exceptional field sites in the Finger Lakes region and beyond
  • Summer field geology opportunities at SUNY Cortland’s own Brauer Field Station
  • An engaged alumni network features graduates working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, local soil and water agencies and private companies

Get Involved 

  • Pursue a funded opportunity made available by SUNY Cortland’s Undergraduate Research Council: a summer fellowship, a small grant or a travel grant to attend a conference.
  • Become a lab teaching assistant or peer mentor who helps other students gain a deeper understanding of geology.
  • Volunteer for community service with local environmental and school groups.

Student Clubs

Next Steps

Contact Us

Chair: David Barclay
Office: Bowers Hall, Room 37
Phone: 607-753-2815
Fax: 607-753-4973

Fast Facts

  • SUNY Cortland owns its own scenic gorge, Hoxie Gorge, just minutes from campus
  • The Cortland Geology Department runs summer programs in field geology at the Brauer Field Station near Albany in an area of outstanding fossil-rich Devonian rocks
  • Bear Swamp on the northwestern edge of Cortland County has a buried crater from a meteorite impact about 444 million years ago
  • The Finger Lakes near Cortland were eroded by an ice sheet and the deepest, Seneca Lake, has a bedrock bottom that is over 1,000 feet below sea level

Type of Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Credit Hours: 120


The Geology Department recognizes excellence by its students with four awards:

  • Maxwell Hawkins Award
  • Graham Heaslip Award
  • John L. Fauth Award
  • James Kradyna Award

Continuing students in the Geology program are eligible for four departmental scholarships:

  • Robert C. Brauer Memorial Scholarship
  • Dominion Scholarship
  • Kronman Family Scholarship
  • James Kradyna Summer Field Camp Scholarship


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