Interdisciplinary by design, geology reflects the diversity of modern earth science, covering subjects that range from the nature of environments since Earth’s beginnings to the impact of humans on the Earth today.

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Faculty

Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses.

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Department Overview

Oberlin’s geology department enjoys a national reputation and is among the first established at an American liberal arts college. Geology at Oberlin is relevant and rigorous—relevant in that the program explores some of the worldwide environmental, climatological, and geological questions of the day, and rigorous in that it requires a high level of inquiry, field study, analysis, and problem solving.

Interdisciplinary by design, geology reflects the diversity of modern earth science, covering subjects that range from the nature of environments since Earth’s beginnings to the impact of humans on the Earth today, and from tiny crystals to gigantic tectonic plates.

We offer courses for the major and non-major. Our major program prepares students for graduate school or a career in earth sciences but is also intended for students who seek a broad understanding of earth systems through scientific study en route to careers in teaching, environmental fields, or other related areas. Many students incorporate geology into a double major.

You will benefit from small classes, hands-on learning, excellent faculty scholarship, and opportunities to accompany and assist faculty members with field experiments and other research.

We encourage majors to do independent research as well as attend workshops and summer programs in geology to have exposure to different geological processes.

Geology News

Two people post with bird mascot.

Educator in Death Valley National Park: Marcus Hill ’19

February 21, 2020
Geology graduate Marcus Hill is working alongside seasoned park rangers to run education programs for elementary school students. As one of the few geologists on staff, he’s discovering that visitors are excited to learn about rocks from someone who spent the last four years working with rocks.
Students look at neon artwork.

This Week in Photos: January 29

January 29, 2020
Although Winter Term 2020 is complete there are still so many photogenic and inspiring moments to share. In this photo series, we visit Lake Erie; Hall Annex 100 for a theater workshop with director Joey Rizzolo; Peters Hall for an elementary Russian class; the Ninde Scholars at Oberlin High School; and a chance to sport a terrific pair of 3D-printed snow glasses.

Geology Facilities

Front facade of the Carnegie building

Carnegie Building

Once Oberlin’s main library, Carnegie is now home to geology classrooms, labs, and offices.
Geospatial Computer Lab

Geospatial Computer Lab

The Geospatial Computer Lab supports coursework in the geology department and allows students access to tools and software for scientific communication.
Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning Electron Microscope

The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is housed in a newly renovated facility in the Carnegie Building.
two students sitting at table with backs to each other.

Science Library

Part of the Science Center complex, the college opened a spacious library with materials devoted to astronomy, biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, geology, neuroscience, physics, and zoology.