Environmental Geoscience

Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

The Associate of Arts Degree in Environmental Geoscience allows students to develop a basic understanding of the physical make-up of the environment, explore the various types of natural resources, examine how humans have impacted the environment, and survey environmental problems and issues. The program allows the option of including courses in biology, soil science, and/or forest management. 

Environmental geoscientists help solve problems with air pollution, water pollution, ground pollution thataffect our quality of life.  In addition, they investigate the sources and impacts of various pollutants within the environment, gather and analyze environmental data, incorporate the regulatory aspects of environmental protection, and communicate issues of importance to the general public.

The associate degree program provides the foundation to complete a bachelor program in environmental geoscience at West Virginia University. Students planning to enter a bachelor program at another institution should determine the transfer equivalencies for the courses offered at Potomac State College of WVU and the institution they plan to attend following completion of the associate degree program.

Career Opportunities

Career options for individuals with a B.A. in Environmental Geoscience include environmental planner, environmental compliance specialist, water resource planner/specialist, environmental sampling technician, natural resource planner, environmental scientist, environmental protection specialist, environmental educator, remote sensing scientist, and geographic information specialist. Positions are available in both industry and government agencies.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in all GEOL/GEOG courses.
GEF Elective Requirements (4 and 5)6
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
Math Requirement (GEF 3):3
Plane Trigonometry
Pre-Calculus Mathematics
Applied Calculus
Calculus 1
CHEM 111Survey of Chemistry (GEF 8)4
PHYS 101Introductory Physics4
or PHYS 105 Conceptual Physics
GEOL 101
GEOL 102
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Laboratory (GEF 2)
GEOL 103
GEOL 104
Earth Through Time
and Earth Through Time Laboratory (GEF 8)
GEOG 107
GEOG 106
Physical Geography
and Physical Geography Laboratory
GEOG 205Natural Resources3
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
ECAS Fine Arts Requirement (GEF 6)3
ECAS International Requirement (GEF 7)3
Foreign Language12
Restricted Elective (Select one of the following):3
Principles of Soil Science
and Principles of Soil Science Laboratory
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
Intro to Computer Applications
Principles of Biology
Forest Ecology
Forest Mensuration
Elementary Statistical Inference
Forest Resources in United States History
Principles of Conservation Ecology
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
GEOL 101
GEOL 102 (GEF 2)
4GEOL 103
GEOL 104 (GEF 8)
WVUE 1911MATH 128 (GEF 3)3
GEF Elective (GEF 4)3GEF Elective (GEF 5)3
Foreign Language3Foreign Language3
 14 16
Second Year
CHEM 111 (GEF 8)4GEOG 2053
PHYS 1014GEF Elective - ECAS Fine Arts Requirement (GEF 6)3
GEOG 107
GEOG 106
4GEF Elective - International Requirement (GEF 7)3
Foreign Language3Foreign Language3
 Restricted Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Goals

environmental geoscience

Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, Environmental Geoscience majors will be able to:

  1. Identify the presence of conditions that create natural environmental problems/hazards.
  2. Identify the activities of humans that create environmental problems/hazards.
  3. Use content terminology required to communicate information regarding natural and manmade environmental problems/hazards.
  4. Transfer into a bachelor degree program in environmental geoscience.



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  • Judy Ninesteel - M.S. Geology