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Oh, the places we go...

Our students get hands-on experience with geology in the field, in the laboratory, and at professional meetings.

Come and join us!

Mary's Rock Tunnel, Skyline Drive

Stratigraphy, Structure and Tectonics

GEOL 467 students study the rocks and tectonic regimes of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, right in JMU's backyard.

Thin Section


What is invisible to the naked eye comes to life under a petrographic microscope. GEOL 280 students study mineral optics and crystallography using thin sections and petrographic microscopes.

Wachapreague Teachers Trip

Oceanography for Teachers

GEOL 401 students participate in Chesapeake Bay water testing.

GPR Survey


A GEOL 440 student conducts a ground penetrating radar survey on the JMU quad.

Geology of the Blue Ridge

Geology of the Blue Ridge

GSCI 104 students study the igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park.

Engineering Geology

Engineering Geology

A GEOL 410 student runs a triaxial stress test on a soil sample.



As an introduction to petrology, GEOL 300 students study granite desk tops using petrographic microscopes, thin sections, and trace element analyses.

Bahamas Beach Profile

Geology & Ecology of the Bahamas

GEOL 400 students measure beach profiles in the Bahamas--for credit!

Magnetic Survey

Field Geophysics

GEOL 442 students conduct a magnetic survey to assist archeologists at Montpelier, home of James Madison.


Student Research

If you don't see it at the surface, sometimes you have to dig a little deeper. GEOL 497 students conduct a research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

GSA Presenters


Each year the department sponsors students to present research at national conferences in places like Denver, San Francisco, Charlotte, Minneapolis, and Vancouver.

Geology Field Course in Ireland

Field Geology

GEOL 399 students measure stream morphology for an environmental geology project in Ireland.

Mineral Museum

       Mineral Museum

   Visit our world-class mineral display
                or take a virtual tour.