University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Minoring in Geology for Environmental Studies Majors

Why minor in Geology?

As an Environmental Studies major, you obviously have an interest in the interaction between people and the earth.  Geology, as a scientific discipline, is centered on understanding the earth (physical) side of this interaction.  Geology is a fundamental environmental science simply because the earth itself is the geologist's laboratory.  Geologists investigate the processes that create and shape the physical aspects of earth's many environments.  They also seek to understand earth's past and how its environments and life forms have changed through time.  Geologists also apply their knowledge to a variety of practical issues including the discovery, development, and stewardship of earth's energy and mineral resources; the mitigation of dangers from natural hazards; and the protection and wise use of our precious water resources.  Geologists, like other environmental scientists, are engaged in the pressing challenge of maintaining earth as a habitable planet.  If these geological aspects of environmental science appeal to you, then you can enrich your major program of study by minoring in geology.  Even more, the geology courses you take to complete a minor can serve "double duty" because they meet requirements of either the Environmental Studies major or the General Education program (described more fully below).  An Environmental Studies major and Geology minor can be a winning combination in more than one way!

Requirements and recommendations for the Geology minor

You must earn 18 credits in Geology that fulfill the three requirements listed below. 

Requirement A: Two core courses (8 credits total)

  • Geology 0015 - Physical Geology (NOTE: This is a prereq to Geology 61 and all 1000-level courses.)
  • Geology 0061 - Historical Geology

NOTE: Geology 0015 will apply to the Environmental Science portion of the Environmental Studies major. Geology 0015 and Geology 0061 together will fulfill Sections 1 and 4 of the General Education requirement in Natural Sciences.

Requirement B: One 1000-level course (4 credits)

Your options are open, but we recommend any of the following courses because of their environmental relevance.  Any of these courses will apply to the Environmental Science portion of the Environmental Studies major.

  • Geology 1061 - Geomorphology
  • Geology 1105 - Hydrology
  • Geology 1106 - Hydrogeology
  • Geology 1139 - Geology of Soils

Requirement C: 6 additional credits in geology

Your options are open, but we recommend any of the following courses because of their environmental relevance.  Any of these courses will apply to the Environmental Science portion of the Environmental Studies major.

  • Geology 0086 - Environmental Geology
  • Geology 0087 - The Earth's Climate
  • Geology 0083 - Oceanography
  • Geology 0024 - Meteorology
  • Any of the 1000-level courses listed above for Requirement B

For More Information

Feel free to consult with the full-time faculty in the Geology Department. We will be more than happy to work with you and your major advisor to set-up an appropriate and beneficial course of study.

Dr. Carrie Davis Todd (Dept. Chair), 244 Krebs Hall, 269-2945, davistod@pitt.edu

Dr. Paul Washington, 246 Krebs Hall, 269-2942, washingt@pitt.edu

Last Reviewed: February 13, 2012