Students doing field work

About Earth Science

Earth science is the study of the earth’s land, sea, atmosphere, and solar system. Earth scientists study tectonically active areas to predict disasters; explore and discover areas that might contain oil, precious metals, or other minerals; monitor groundwater to make sure it is free of pollution; and investigate the strength of bedrock to support roads, dams, and tunnels. The field of earth science can take you anywhere—from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the Himalayas.

Our program provides an authoritative background for students interested in pursuing careers as scientists or earth science educators.

Earth Sciences, B.S.

Geology, B.S.

Astronomy, Minor

Environmental Science, Minor

Geology, Minor

Degree Information

Careers in earth science are broad and highly varied. Climate change, volcanism, water management, and environmental sustainability are all enormous fields with many small branches--and they are only a few of earth science’s many subdivisions. Most earth science graduates find jobs in fields including:

  • Alternative Energy
  • Advocacy/Lobbying
  • Alternative Energy Research
  • Environmental Site Assessment
  • Geological Mapping
  • Landfill Development/Maintenance
  • Marine Engineering
  • Mining & Exploration
  • Mining Risk/Hazard Prevention
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology
  • Petroleum Discovery/Drilling
  • Seismology
  • University/High School Education
  • Volcanology
  • Water Supply Contamination


Field Education: Students have conducted fieldwork in such diverse locales as Hawaii, the American West (Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks), the Adirondacks, and Maine.

Professional Conferences: Students can attend and present research findings at national and regional geology conferences with faculty members.

Astronomy Club: Open to students with an interest in stars and planets, telescopes and planetariums. They hold meetings and social gatherings.

Geology Club: This club open to all science students includes such events as fossil hunts, hosting fossil and mineral shows on campus and the Hamburg Fairgrounds, trips to the Geological Society of America Conference, movie nights, and more. 

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.

Research opportunities are available to students in the study of rocks, fossils, environmental issues, and geological processes. Faculty research provides additional opportunities for students to perform laboratory work and hands-on outdoor data collection.

Undergraduate Research Office

Field-based Courses

Buffalo State's Earth Sciences and Science Education Department offers several field-based courses and has strong relationships with local companies and government agencies which help to provide opportunities for hands-on experiences and work-related internships prior to graduation. The earth sciences internship program is designed to provide students seeking careers in the geosciences with professional work experience. Internship opportunities are advertised within the department, but may also be initiated by the student. A written agreement between the student, field supervisor and a faculty supervisor will be formulated. Internships sites have included:

  • The Fresh Air Fund
  • Journey's End Refugee Services
  • Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehab Center
  • Steel Plant Museum

Respecting the Earth

Are you concerned about the effects of climate change and pollution on our planet? Do you want to help take care of the earth —and the people living on it? Our Earth Science Program may be the perfect path for you. 

Individualized Attention

Our small class sizes promote close faculty-student interactions and one-on-one assistance.

Environmental Science Minor

The environmental science minor is designed to provide a broad base of knowledge in the various natural science disciplines that compose environmental science. The minor gives students the background necessary to understand and evaluate complex environmental issues.

Geology Minor

The geology minor can strengthen a student’s employability. Candidates for this program may include science majors contemplating a future in geophysics or geochemistry, students in environmental fields with a geological aspect, and students who may wish to be involved in land use planning.

Kevin Williams in the planetarium

"Being able to explore the surface of an object almost 5 billion miles away is one of humanity’s most astonishing and inspiring achievements.”

- Kevin Williams
Associate Professor of Geosciences