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Earth Sciences, B.S.

About the Program

The Earth Sciences program offers students the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the earth as a dynamic, interacting system of land, sea, atmosphere, and solar system. The student, in consultation with a faculty adviser, will select one of the three concentrations, usually after completion of 9 GES credit hours. The concentrations, leading in potentially different career directions, are Earth Science (for secondary education Earth Science candidates), Environmental Earth Sciences, and Geology. Earth Sciences majors may not minor in Astronomy.

Coursework in chemistry, calculus, and physics is expected, particularly for students intent upon careers in the geosciences, contemplating graduate study, or seeking certification as a secondary Earth Science teacher. The recommended courses are CHE 111, CHE 112, MAT 126, MAT 127, PHY 111, PHY 112 and upper-division courses in chemistry, mathematics and physics. Each student should choose the appropriate courses by advisement, beginning with entry into the major.

Student majors are given many opportunities to pursue independent research under faculty supervision or an internship experience. Students may find additional information about undergraduate research possibilities from faculty members, and by visiting the Undergraduate Research Office.

A departmental honors program also is available. Students should contact the department for additional information.

About the Earth Sciences and Science Education Department

271 Science Building
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6731
Fax: (716) 878-4524

Program Requirements

Intellectual Foundations Requirements 33–39 cr

Total Required Credit Hours in Earth Sciences 41–43 cr

A. Required Courses (25 cr)
GES 101 Introductory Geology
GES 102 Historical Geology
GES 103 Introductory Geology Laboratory (1)
GES 111 General Oceanography
GES 131 Introductory Astronomy
GES 303 Mineralogy and Petrology (4)
GES 307 Geomorphology (4)
GES 408 Structural Geology (4))

B. Concentrations (16–18 cr)

Environmental Earth Sciences Concentration (18 cr)
GES 300 Sedimentology
GES 301 Stratigraphy
GES 452 Hydrogeology
GES 460 Applied Environmental Methods

Select two courses from the following:
GES 350 Environmental Geochemistry
GEG 365 Soil Science and Management
GES 444 Global Systems Geomorphology
GES 450 Field Geology

Students should consider completing the environmental sciences minor.
CHE 111 and CHE 112 are advised.

Earth Science Concentration (16 cr)
GES 241 Meteorology
GES 302 Invertebrate Paleontology (4)
GES 405 Geology of North America

One astronomy elective.
One upper-division GES elective.

Students who wish to obtain earth science and general science certifications (7–12) for junior/senior high school teaching must also complete other professional requirements. See the earth science education (7–12) program in the catalog.

Geology Concentration (16 cr)
GES 300 Sedimentology
GES 301 Stratigraphy
GES 302 Invertebrate Paleontology (4)
GES 450 Field Geology

Select one course from the following:
GES 403 Glacial Geology
GES 405 Geology of North America

Students contemplating graduate study are advised that CHE 111, CHE 112, MAT 126, MAT 127, PHY 111, and PHY 112 are essential to a modern geology (or related) program. These sequences should begin before the graduate school decision is made; failure to take them limits students’ future options.

All College Electives 20-30 cr

Total Required Credit Hours 120 cr

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