Department Mission

In 2020-2021, the Geosciences Department re-envisioned the department's mission, vision and goals, alongside a process that completely revised the major's learning goals. This ultimately lead to restructured major and minor requirements, that further centered environmental science and social justice, and the connection between geosciences and society.




We aim to empower and equip students with scientific approaches to studying Earth. We do this by cultivating curiosity about Earth systems and how they function and interconnect through deep time. We prepare students to be ethical scientists able to address how people act as geologic agents, sometimes in problematic ways, and communicate these concerns and solutions to others. 



We aspire to foster passion for Earth science and inspire lifelong curiosity about the world around us through experiences and opportunities for mentored research in the classroom, laboratory, and field. We hope to do this by creating a welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment that understands the potential for all students to find their interests in, and connections to, Earth systems.



We hope our students build a deep understanding of Earth, while developing technical and communication skills that they can apply in a variety of careers including education, government, nonprofits, and industry. Regardless of their path after Oberlin, we hope our graduates will  prioritize stewardship for our planet, will approach investigations and choices in ethical ways, and will make positive contributions to issues of social justice and sustainability.



Please follow this link to our living document on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work being done in the Geosciences Department.


If you have a comment or concern about the department climate in general or experiences within the department, please use our department reporting form to share those. This form can be anonymous or not (your choice), and there are three versions of it depending on what audience you would like it to go to. It can be sent to:

  1. Faculty/staff and Geocouncil
  2. Faculty/staff only
  3. Geocouncil only


If you are looking for additional department and/or campus resources, please take a look at our department