Undergraduate Minor in Environmental Geosciences

The Earth Sciences minor is related to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Environmental Geosciences, which CLA offers in partnership with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Science & Engineering.

Environmental geoscience is the study of processes within, and interactions between, the atmosphere, ocean and the solid Earth that determine the habitability of the planet. In short, it is the branch of geology that is concerned with the interactions between humans and the geologic environment. The subject covers natural processes that have been modifying the planet over its entire history, but with a strong focus on understanding the modern system and how it has been affected by human activities. Students earning a Minor in Environmental Geoscience will develop key observational and analytical skills that enable them to address fundamental questions about the functioning of Earth systems, especially in relation to climate change, hydrology and water resources, and mineral resources. Students will cover core topics in Earth Science that address topics such as, (1) the drivers of climate change in the Earth’s past and how will these processes may change in the future, (2) the frequency and setting of natural hazards relevant to modern society (e.g., floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and weather-related phenomena), (3) the impacts of changing nutrient cycling and pollution on the sustainability of freshwater and marine ecosystems, and (4) the effects of the use of energy and materials resources to ensure continued functioning of modern society. 

This minor is well suited to those interested in environmental science and policy, who are looking to acquire a foundation in the geologic processes that govern water, soil, and natural resource development. Students will also gain a range of transferable skills, including: written and oral reports; critical analysis and interpretation of data; and group working.