Engaged Geosciences

Engaged Geosciences takes what you’re learning in your courses and puts it into practice through internships, research, study away, winter term, career exploration, and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of recent projects, field experiences, and post-graduate destinations for geosciences majors.

RISE at Oberlin
Research. Internships. Study Away. Experiential Learning.

Ways Geosciences Majors Rise


  • Most geosciences majors participate in research with faculty during their time at Oberlin for course credit (including honors projects), as paid positions (funded by grants from the National Science Foundation or the college), or during winter term.
  • Geosciences research takes place in the laboratories at Oberlin, at major research universities, and at field sites including China, South Africa, Oman, the Caribbean, and California.
  • 8-12 students present their research at national conferences (Geological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, Association of Black Geoscientists) each year with expenses subsidized by the department.
  • Geosciences majors are co-authors (and even lead authors) in papers published by international scientific journals.


  • Geosciences majors intern at museums: the Smithsonian Institution, American Museum of Natural History; for the government: USGS, USFS, NPS, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and in the private sector.
  • Our students participate in summer research experiences for undergraduates through the Keck Geology Consortium, Stanford, Caltech, Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Study Away

  • Frontiers Abroad Geology of New Zealand program in New Zealand, which includes a five-week field experience
  • The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University in Havana, Cuba
  • The School for International Training, Australia

Experiential Learning

  • Map-making tools, including global positioning system (GPS) base station and rover, handheld GPS units, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and computer lab
  • The college’s scanning electron microscope for micro-imaging and analysis
  • An endowed departmental scholarship (Black Fund) for geological field camps
  • Winter term field trips to California, St. Croix, Indonesia, China

First Destinations of Recent Geosciences Majors

  • Graduate Schools:
    • Geology and geochemistry at Brown University, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of Toronto, University of Vermont, Washington University St. Louis
    • Paleontology at University of Alabama, U.C. Davis, University of Virginia
    • Marine biology at College of Charleston
    • Information science at University of Toronto
    • PhD in earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University
  • Positions:
    • Watson, Fulbright, Shansi fellows
    • GIS analysts (State of Oregon, Oberlin College, Pepco Power, USGS)
    • Environmental consultants (Bowser-Morner, Leidos)
    • Technical staff (NOAA, USGS, AMNH, Stanford)
    • Museum staff, college diversity coordinators and admissions officers
    • Food programs enrichment coordinator, San Francisco
    • Grants administrator, City Parks Foundation, New York City
    • JavaScript developer, Adal Design, San Francisco