Life as a Geoscience or Environmental Science major is one of the most challenging, fun, and rewarding on the MTSU campus. Currently, the faculty educates approximately 150 undergraduate majors, making the MTSU Department of Geosciences one of the largest undergraduate programs in the southeastern United States. However, with a student faculty ratio of approximately 15 to 1 and a commitment to diversity and equality, we are able to provide each student with the personal attention necessary to ensure academic success. In addition to receiving high-quality technology-based classroom and laboratory instruction, students participate in departmental field trips, attend regional and national conferences, and engage in faculty-supervised research. Importantly, the faculty considers our students' education to be a year-long endeavor, and therefore encourages majors to participate in summer geoscience field courses, research programs, and pre-professional internships.
The Department of Geosciences offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Geoscience and Environmental Science. Geoscience majors choose a concentration in either Geology or Physical Geography. Geology students choose between three career tracks: Geology, Earth Science, and Earth Science Education. Physical Geography students choose between two career tracks: Physical Geography and Geospatial Analysis. We also offer a Master of Science in Geoscience where students choose between two tracks: a pre-professional track involving an internship as preparation for employment, or a traditional master's thesis research track. We have a lot of options to fit your post-university goals!
That's a lot of options! If you need help picking a program or have a career in mind,
but don't know who to talk to, check out these links:
- Click here to see our programs with information on the topics, themes and skills they cover!
- Click here to see learn about faculty mentoring regarding specific careers!
Why study the Geosciences and Environmental Sciences?
The Earth is a dynamic planet which has changed continuously during its 4.6 billion year existence. The size, shape, and geographic distribution of the continents and ocean basins have changed throughout time, as have the atmosphere and biota. The relationships between humans and our planet have been equally dynamic. Geoscientists are increasingly aware of the complex relationships between the solid Earth, the atmosphere, and the oceans. The history of Earth processes and humans' effect on our natural systems remains one of the greatest challenges in all of the scientific world.
Today, we all are faced with long-term issues such as climate change, dwindling natural resources, the need to transition to renewable energy supplies, and increasing vulnerability to hazards. Understanding and responding to these issues and their effects on the global population requires extensive interdisciplinary training in science, such as that provided by our department. Students interested in careers related to any aspect of the many interactions between humans and the natural environment should consider a major in the Geosciences Department!
Information on the MTSU Department of Geosciences and careers in geosciences:
- MTSU Geosciences by the Numbers: 2019-20
- MTSU Geosciences: 21st Century Solutions for a 46 Million Centuries-old Planet
How do you get started as a major?
The first step to becoming a major in the Department of Geosciences is to take one of our General Education courses, Introduction to Earth Science and Laboratory (GEOL 1030/1031), Physical Geology and Lab (GEOL 1040/1041), or Physical Geography (PGEO 1030). These courses provide an overview of the Geosciences, and each counts as four credit hours toward the required MTSU General Education curriculum category of Natural Science. We also encourage you to reach out and visit us to discuss if Geosciences is the right major for you!
The Department of Geosciences office is located on the second floor of Davis Science Building (DSB 241). If you are interested in either a major or minor in Geosciences, please contact our department Executive Aide, Ms. Karen Wolfe (DSB 241, 615-898-2726, firstname.lastname@example.org), who will put you in touch with a Geosciences advisor.
MTSU - Dept. of Geosciences
MTSU PO Box 9
Davis Science Building 241
Murfreesboro TN 37132
Dr. Henrique Momm, Department Chair
Karen Wolfe, Department Secretary
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Dr. Warner Cribb’s research focuses on the geologic history of the solid Earth, with particular emphasis on the growth of continental crust in volcanic mountain belts. Most of Dr. Cribb’s students research the formation and chemical evolution of magmas that form volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington. Their research goal is to improve the understanding of how molten rock beneath volcanoes forms, and how the chemical and physical properties of the molten rock change as it travels through Earth’s crust towards the surface.
Student research involves conducting fieldwork in the spectacular Cascade Range to collect rock samples at volcanoes, and then conducting geochemical and mineralogical analyses of the samples in labs at MTSU. Dr. Cribb’s students learn useful skills through their research, such as how to conduct geologic sample collection, how to geochemically analyze rock and mineral samples, and how to interpret and model geochemical data.
Most of Dr. Cribb’s students present their research results at national scientific conferences. Many of his students have been awarded full graduate assistantships and fellowships to attend some of the best geology graduate research programs in the country, such as at Notre Dame University, Vanderbilt University, Baylor University, The University of Oklahoma, and the University of Utah. After earning their M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, these students find employment in a range of geoscience employment sectors, such as mining, oil and gas exploration, advanced materials research, environmental consulting, and education.