The principal mission of geology's instructional program is to serve two vital needs of the JMU students. First, the majors in Geology (BS) and Earth Science (BA) present high quality programs of specialized study focusing on earth materials, internal and external earth processes, analysis of earth history, and application of geology to environmental and engineering issues. Fundamental to this mission is a commitment to foster the ability to think analytically and to communicate both within the discipline and with non-scientists. Course work and research experiences prepare the student for postgraduate study or professional careers that are subject to rapidly changing societal needs. Second, we are committed to enhancing general education by offering timely and challenging courses that provide insight into earth processes and human-environment interactions. These courses promote life long liberal learning by fostering critical thinking and an awareness of natural science.
JMU's BA in Earth Science program has received an award from the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition. Dr. Eric Pyle, who helped start the program, represented the department at the awards ceremony in Richmond.
Dr. Eric Pyle and professors from UVA received a grant to form the Blue Ridge Earth Science Collaborative, a project to provide professional development for middle and high school earth science teachers.
Dr. Anna Courtier with undergraduate Jillian Browning are using seismic data to create a map of the Earth's crust and a possible mantle plume underneath the Samoan Islands.
Follow the link above to learn about Dr. Steve Whitmeyer's grant to fund a virtual geoscience education project.
The field course in Ireland is the JMU Geology and Environmental Science capstone course and combines a study-abroad experience in western Ireland with a modern approach to field geology education and preparation for geoscience professions. The course is taught by faculty from JMU and the National University of Ireland, Galway. Both JMU and non-JMU students attend the field course.
Dr. Steve Whitmeyer has received the honor of Society Fellowship from the Geological Society of America. Dr. Whitmeyer was recognized for distinguished contributions to the geosciences and was recognized at the 2013 GSA Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on October 28 in Denver, Colorado.