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.
C. Scott Southworth ('79) has received the Department's Distinguished Alumni Award. In a 32-year career at the USGS, Mr. Southworth has established himself as one of the foremost experts in Appalachian geology. Mr. Southworth was a featured speaker in the Department's seminar series and presented an entertaining retrospective on his geology education and career at the USGS.
The Department celebrated the accomplishments of students with a reception and awards ceremony.
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.