Environmental Geoscience


Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts 

Nature of Program

The B.A. in environmental geoscience is a joint program in the Department of Geology and Geography for students interested in geological and geographical approaches to environmental issues.  Emphasis is placed on the physical, human, and spatial aspects of Earth and its environment.  The broad and interdisciplinary nature of the degree program is designed to produce geoscientists who can identify environmental problems, apply a variety of approaches to their remediation, and be conversant among the wide range of disciplines for which the environment is of special concern.

The course requirements for the degree reflect the diversity of environmental problems that we face today from the atmosphere (air pollution), to the hydrosphere (water pollution), to the lithosphere (ground pollution), and how these problems affect our quality of life.  The courses required for the degree also reflect the increased demands placed upon modern environmental scientists that include being able to recognize and understand the sources and impacts of various pollutants within the physical environment, being able to compile and analyze environmental data, understanding the regulatory aspects of environmental protection, and being able to effectively communicate issues of importance with other environmental scientists and with the general public.

Graduates of this program will find employment in a wide array of fields including the assessment and remediation of environmental problems, land-use planning, geographic information systems, involvement in the legislative process by which laws are formulated to protect the environment, the application of such laws as part of a federal or state regulatory agency, or as a member of the journalistic community using the various methods of mass communication to increase the public awareness of situations that adversely affect the environment.

Students who earn a degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences must complete the University requirements, the College requirements for their specific degree program, and their major requirements.


All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; please check the list of all available minors and their requirements. Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.

Certificate of Global Engagement

Students in the Eberly College, regardless of their major, can earn a Certificate of Global Engagement. Completion of the Certificate demonstrates the student’s knowledge of diverse cultures, as well as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds.  Students will be required to apply their knowledge of contemporary issues and global social contexts to their course work and their broader citizenship.  For details regarding Certificate requirements, please visit the Eberly College page.


Incoming Freshmen are admitted directly into the Environmental Geoscience major.  Students coming from the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success or another unit must be in good standing (2.00 overall GPA).

Benchmark Expectations

By end of their 4th semester in the major, students should have successfully completed 8 hours of introductory GEOL sequences; GEOL 200; GEOG 106-107; MATH 128; and one of the following: CHEM 111 or CHEM 115. All majors must meet with a G&G department adviser each semester.  Students who do no meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

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

Degree Requirements

Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.A. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total a minimum of 120 hours.  For complete details on these requirements, visit the B.A. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences page.

Departmental Requirements for the B.A. in Environmental Geoscience

All students wishing to obtain a degree in Environmental Geoscience must comply with the following:

  • Capstone Requirement: The General Education Foundations requires the successful completion of a Capstone course. For Environmental Geosciences majors, GEOL 400 completes the requirement.
  • Writing and Communication Requirement:  Environmental Geoscience Bachelor of Arts students complete the Writing and Communication Skills requirement by completing ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 (or ENGL 103), and at least one additional SpeakWrite Certified CourseTMGEOG 205, and a 2nd course selected from GEOG 243, GEOG 300, GEOG 454.   
  • Calculation of the GPA in the Major: Students must have a 2.0 overall GPA in all GEOG and in all GEOL courses applied to major requirements.  If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat.
  • Credit Limit: No more than 50 credits of geology/geography can be used for the B.A. if the student has earned 120 credits overall.  If a student has more than 50 credits, then those extra credits must be matched by an equal amount of non-GEOG or GEOL courses, and more than 120 credits will be required for graduation.  For example, if a student has 51 credits in GEOG and GEOG, the student will need 122 credits to graduate (51 G&G, 71 non-G&G). 199 and 491 courses are excluded from the 50-credit count.
  • Benchmarks Expectations: For details, go to the Environmental Geoscience admissions tab.

Curriculum Requirements

First Year Seminar
GEF: Number of courses may vary depending on overlap
ECAS B.A. Requirements12
Foreign Language
Global Studies & Diversity Requirement
Fine Arts Requirement
Math and Science Requirement:15
Biology Requirement:
Environmental Biology
and Environmental Biology Laboratory
Chemistry Requirement:
Survey of Chemistry
Fundamentals of Chemistry
Math Requirement:
Plane Trigonometry
Pre-Calculus Mathematics
Applied Calculus
Calculus 1a with Precalculus
Calculus 1b with Precalculus
Calculus 1
Calculus 2
Physics Requirement:
Introductory Physics
Conceptual Physics
Core Courses:29
Complete all of the following:
Planet Earth
and Planet Earth Laboratory
Earth Through Time
and Earth Through Time Laboratory
Digital Earth Lab
and Digital Earth
Physical Geography Laboratory
and Physical Geography
Geology for Environmental Scientists
Natural Resources
Climate and Environment
Biogeography: Theory and Method
Elective Geology and Geography Courses9
Select three (3) courses from the following list:
Geographical Data Analysis
Global Issues
Climatological Analysis
Geographic Information Systems and Science
Global Environmental Change
Geographic Information Science: Applications
Geographic Information Science: Design and Implementation
Environmental Geographic Information Systems
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Digital Cartography
Physical Oceanography
Geology of West Virginia
Geology of the National Parks
Environmental Geology
Physical Hydrogeology
Cave and Karst Geology
Minerals and the Environment
Environmental Isotopes
Environmental Geochemistry
Electives Non-Geology/Geography12
Select four (4) courses from the following list:
Principles of Soil Science
and Principles of Soil Science Laboratory
Reclamation of Disturbed Soils
Energy Resource Economics
Introductory Environmental and Resource Economics
Agricultural and Natural Resources Law
Art and Environment
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
Principles of Biology
Introductory Physiology
Ecology and Evolution
Flora of West Virginia
Plant Ecology
Plant Geography
Global Ecology
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
Intro to Computer Applications
Introduction to Computer Science
Forest Ecology
Forest Mensuration
Forest Management
Soil in the City
Elements of Environmental Protection
Environmental Sampling and Analysis
Environmental Microbiology
Pest Management
Hazardous Waste Training
Soil Microbiology
Environmental Soil Management
Principles of Weed Science
Reclamation of Disturbed Soils
Environmental Impact Assessment
Watershed Management
Field Watershed Hydrology
Introduction to Landscape Architecture
Philosophy of Science
Environmental Policy
Introduction to Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Sustainable Tourism Development
Sustainable Living
Environmental Regulation
Elementary Statistical Inference
Intermediate Statistical Methods
Principles of Conservation Ecology
Ecology of Invading Species
Wildlife Ecosystem Ecology
Marine Ecology
Renewable Resources Policy and Governance
Forest Resources in United States History
Wood Anatomy and Structure
Environmental Practicum
Number of electives may vary depending on overlap
Total Hours120

 Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3
Foreign Language 1013Foreign Language 1023
GEOL 101
GEOL 102 (GEF 2)
4GEOL 103
GEOL 104 (GEF 8)
GEOG 150
GEOG 149 (GEF 8)
4MATH Requirement (GEF 3)3
General Elective3General Elective2
 15 15
Second Year
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 53
Foreign Language 2033Foreign Language 2043
GEOL 2004Non-GEOL / GEOG Elective 13
GEOG 107
GEOG 106
4CHEM Requirement (GEF 8)4
General Elective1General Elective2
 15 15
Third Year
BIOL 105
BIOL 106
4ECAS Fine Arts Requirement (GEF 6)3
GEOG 205 (GEF 4)3ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)3
GEOG 2073GEOG 3073
GEOG/ GEOL Elective 13GEOG/ GEOL Elective 23
General Elective2GEOG/ GEOL Elective 33
 15 15
Fourth Year
GEOL 400 (Capstone)4Non-GEOL / GEOG Elective 33
PHYS Requirement4Non-GEOL / GEOG Elective 43
Non-GEOL / GEOG Elective 23General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective1General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Goals

Environmental Geoscience

Upon successful completion of the B.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. Understand the potential economic and social costs of remediation of natural and man¬made environmental problems.
  4. Critically access reports, news articles, news reports, and debates and analyze the arguments so they can come to form an opinion on what is being debated.
  5. Recognize that sources of information on environmental issues may be biased and that additional opinions must be sought in order to set forth conclusions which have merit.
  6. Communicate clearly and effectively in writing and the spoken word about environmental issues to audiences of diverse backgrounds and formal education levels.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of content terminology required to communicate information regarding natural and manmade environmental problems/hazards.

Geography Courses

GEOG 102. World Regions. 3 Hours.

Comparison and relationships of world regions. Geographical perspectives of contemporary global problems. Developing regions contrasted with modernized regions and the consequences of their interactions.

GEOG 106. Physical Geography Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOG 107.

GEOG 107. Physical Geography. 3 Hours.

Introduction to global environmental systems operating on the earth's surface, emphasizing weather and climate, soils, natural vegetation, and geomorphology, and examination of human interaction with these natural processes.

GEOG 108. Human Geography. 3 Hours.

Introduction to geographical dimension in human behavior and the human altered landscape including social, demographic, economic, and political attributes of societies.

GEOG 110. Environmental Geoscience. 3 Hours.

Physical aspects of the earth with emphasis on natural resources, environmental degradation and hazards. Registration in GEOG 111 meets requirements for a 4-hr. credit in laboratory science. (Also listed as GEOL 110.) (Students may not receive credit for GEOG 110 and GEOL 101 or GEOL 110.).

GEOG 111. Environmental Geoscience Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or Conc: GEOG 110. (Also listed as GEOL 111.) (Students not receive credit for GEOG 111 and GEOL 102 or GEOL 111.).

GEOG 149. Digital Earth Lab. 1 Hour.

Introduction to geographic information systems software using basic principles of mapping and analysis of geographic information.

GEOG 150. Digital Earth. 3 Hours.

PR or CONC: GEOG 149. Recent advances in technology and data availability have increased our knowledge about the world. This class surveys key concepts of geospatial technologies (GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis) in the context of social and environmental change.

GEOG 199. Orientation to Geography. 1,2 Hour.

For majors, pre-majors, and potential majors; discussion of the discipline, curriculum requirements, areas of specialization, internships and career opportunities. (1 hr. lec., pass/fail only.).

GEOG 205. Natural Resources. 3 Hours.

Introduces the concept of natural resources and surveys such topics as land, soil, rangeland, forests, water, atmosphere, minerals, and energy. Emphasis is on the United States within the context of the global environment.

GEOG 207. Climate and Environment. 3 Hours.

Examination of atmospheric processes and the impact of human activity on climate.

GEOG 209. Economic Geography. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 108. Examination of the world economy particularly the spatial patterns of agriculture, manufacturing and services.

GEOG 210. Urban Geography. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 101 or GEOG 102 or GEOG 108. Introduction to the geography of the city incorporating consideration of urban systems and city-region linkages, patterns and processes of urban land use, the social geography of the city, and contemporary urban problems.

GEOG 215. Population Geography. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 107. Study of the geographic distribution of population and population characteristics including density, age, fertility, mortality, and settlement patterns. Problems of migration and population/resource issues are also covered, with an emphasis on developing countries.

GEOG 240. United States and Canada. 3 Hours.

Regional study of the United States and Canada emphasizing such geographic features as climate, natural vegetation, topography, natural resources, population distribution and trends, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation systems, and regional culture.

GEOG 241. Geography of Europe. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 108. Study of contemporary human and physical geography of Europe. Insight to political, economic and social dimensions of transition in this region.

GEOG 243. Geography of Africa. 3 Hours.

Systematic and regional characteristics and geographic problems of political, social, and economic development.

GEOG 244. Geography of the Middle East. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide students with a detailed understanding and ability to analyze the geography of the Middle East (including North Africa). Special topics on current geographical issues will also be covered.

GEOG 293A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

GEOG 298. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent from the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

GEOG 300. Geographical Data Analysis. 3 Hours.

Quantitative techniques for collection, classification, and spatial analysis of geographical data with emphasis on map analysis and application of spatial statistics.

GEOG 302. Political Geography. 3 Hours.

Examines the interrelationship between politics and the environment, human territoriality, the political organization of space, geopolitical aspects of the nation-state and international problems.

GEOG 307. Biogeography: Theory and Method. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 107. An introduction to the field of biogeography including the study of the distribution and diversity of life, how species migrate, the importance of natural and human disturbances in ecosystems.

GEOG 310. Global Issues. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 102 or GEOG 108. Themes of spatial equity and justice in an increasingly interdependent world system. Contemporary issues concerning location, place, movement, and region.

GEOG 317. Climatological Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 207 or Consent. Statistical analysis and interpretation of climatological data and application to physical and human problems across the globe using user-friendly tools. (Also listed as GEOG 517).

GEOG 321. Geomorphology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and GEOL 102. An examination of earth-surface processes and landforms, with emphasis on environmental geomorphology, streams, floods, glaciers, and landslides. (Required field trip at student's expense; also listed as GEOL 321.).

GEOG 350. Geographic Information Systems and Science. 4 Hours.

PR: GEOG 150. Explores concepts, principles and practice of acquiring, storing, analyzing, display and use of geographic information.

GEOG 361. Cartography. 3 Hours.

An introduction to mapping from concepts to production, including historical developments, coordinate systems, projections, generalization, symbolization, map design and computer- assisted mapping. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.).

GEOG 393A-D. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

GEOG 407. Environmental Field Geography. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 107 and GEOG 307. An introduction to field methods used in environmental and physical geography. Course uses a problem based approach.

GEOG 411. Rural and Regional Development. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 102 or GEOG 108. An investigation into rural and regional development in developed and underdeveloped regions. The relationship between development theory and policy is explored.

GEOG 412. Geography of Gender. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 108 or consent. An exploration of how gender affects spatial patterns and processes. Theoretical and empirical aspects of feminism are analyzed including women and employment, third world feminism, sexuality and space, and gender in academia.

GEOG 415. Global Environmental Change. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 107 or equivalent or consent. A geographic analysis of the Earth system emphasizing the interdependence and feedback mechanisms of the hydrologic cycle, ecosystems, climate, and human activities.

GEOG 425. Urban and Regional Planning. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 210 or POLS 220 or consent. Explores concepts, techniques, and processes of physical and socioeconomic planning and their application to urban and regional problems.

GEOG 443. African Environment and Development. 3 Hours.

Detailed examination of the intersection of environmental and development studies in sub-Saharan Africa with critical assessments of current practice.

GEOG 452. Geographic Information Science: Applications. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 350. GIS uses, needs, analysis, design, and implementation. Operational institutional and management topics of GIS for planning, locational decision making in business, government, and research contexts. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.) (Also listed as GEOL 452.).

GEOG 453. Geographic Information Science: Design and Implementation. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 350 and consent. Geographic database design and implementation using contemporary GIS software.

GEOG 454. Environmental Geographic Information Systems. 3 Hours.

Provides background and hands-on experience needed to answer scientific questions about the environment within a raster-based GIS framework. Students should have introductory-level GIS background.

GEOG 455. Introduction to Remote Sensing. 3 Hours.

Theory, technology and applications of photo-interpretation and digital image analysis of aerial photography and multispectral images. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.) (Also listed as GEOL 455.).

GEOG 456. Remote Sensing Applications. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 455 or GEOL 455 or consent. Survey of remote sensing applications, focusing on the type of information obtained and methods used.

GEOG 462. Digital Cartography. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 361 or consent. Computer-assisted mapping emphasizing the appropriate uses of software in thematic and topographic map design, annotation, symbolization, color, design, display and reproduction.

GEOG 463. Crime Geography. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOG 150 or GEOG 350. Exploring the interactions between crime, society, and space through GIS, mapping, and geographical concepts of crime and law enforcement.

GEOG 485. Methods of Geographic Research. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Geographic analysis as problem-solving activity. Practical experience in field techniques, library research, hypothesis formation and testing, and report preparation and presentation. Students will acquire skills in literary and numerical approaches to geographic data analysis.

GEOG 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

GEOG 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

GEOG 492A-Z. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

GEOG 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

GEOG 494A-Z. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR:Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

GEOG 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

GEOG 496. Senior Thesis. 0-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

GEOG 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

GEOG 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.

GEOG 499. Global Service Learning. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Theory and practice of global service learning. The main objective will be to pair the experiential aspects of meainingful and sustained service in the host community with work from the student's anchor course by offering a methodological framework for cultural immersion and community service as well as adding to the content of the anchor course.

Geology Courses

GEOL 101. Planet Earth. 3 Hours.

Composition and structure of the Earth and the physical processes that change Earth's surface. GEOL 102 not required with GEOL 101. (Accompanied by registration in GEOL 102, class meets requirements for 4 hr. credit in a laboratory science in geology.) (Students cannot receive credit for GEOL 101 and GEOL 110 or GEOG 110.).

GEOL 102. Planet Earth Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOL 101. Laboratory study of the Earth using rocks, minerals and maps. (2 hr. lab.) (Students cannot receive credit for GEOL 102 and GEOL 111 or GEOG 111.).

GEOL 103. Earth Through Time. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 or GEOL 110 or GEOG 110. Evolution of the Earth and its inhabitants. (Accompanied by registration in GEOL 104, class meets requirements for 4 hr. credit in a laboratory science in geology.).

GEOL 104. Earth Through Time Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOL 103. Laboratory study of sedimentary rocks, fossils, and geologic maps and their use in interpreting Earth history. (2 hr. lab.).

GEOL 110. Environmental Geoscience. 3 Hours.

Physical aspects of the Earth with emphasis on natural resources, environmental degradation and hazards. (Accompanied by GEOL 111 meets requirements for a 4 hr. credit in laboratory science.) (Also listed as GEOG 110.) (Students may not receive credit for GEOL 110 and GEOG 110 or GEOL 101.).

GEOL 111. Environmental Geoscience Laboratory. 1 Hour.

PR or CONC: GEOL 110. (Also listed as GEOG 111.) (Students may not receive credit for GEOG 111 and GEOL 102 or GEOG 111.).

GEOL 200. Geology for Environmental Scientists. 4 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111) or (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102 and GEOL 103 and GEOL 104). Fundamentals of mineralogy, sedimentation, stratigraphy, petrology, and structural geology needed by environmental scientists to understand earth materials. (Required field trips partial student expense.) (3 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.).

GEOL 203. Physical Oceanography. 3 Hours.

(Not open to upper division geology majors.) The geography and geology of ocean basins and margins, the chemical and physical properties of sea water, and the examination of the source and location of resources in the sea.

GEOL 230. Fossils and Evolution. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 or BIOL 101. Evolutionary history of plants, marine invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals; emphasis on unique contribution of fossil record to evolutionary theory. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.) (Credit cannot be obtained for both GEOL 103 and GEOL 230.).

GEOL 284. Mineralogy. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and GEOL 102 and PR or CONC: CHEM 111 or CHEM 115. Elements of crystallography and the systematic study of minerals, identification of minerals in hand specimens according to physical properties. (Required weekend field trip covered by the lab fee.).

GEOL 285. Introductory Petrology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 284. Introduction to the study of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, including mineralogy, processes of formation, tectonic setting, and description and identification of rocks in hand specimens. (Required weekend field trip. Students will be required to pay a portion of the expenses.).

GEOL 298A. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

GEOL 300. Geology of West Virginia. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104. Journey through geologic history of West Virginia with emphasis on the geology of public lands and fossil fuels. Local and overnight field trips are a required part of this course.

GEOL 302. Geology of the National Parks. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104. Explore the geology of selected National Parks with emphasis on the plate tectonic setting and in-depth analysis of surface features. One overnight field trip is required as part of this course.

GEOL 311. Stratigraphy and Sedimentation. 4 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 103 and GEOL 104) and PR or CONC: GEOL 285. Study of sediments and sedimentary rocks with an emphasis on the analysis of facies.

GEOL 321. Geomorphology. 3 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102) or (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111). An examination of earth-surface processes and landforms, with emphasis on environmental geomorphology, streams, floods, glaciers, and landslides. (Required field trip at student's expense; also listed as GEOG 321.).

GEOL 331. Paleontology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and STAT 211. Uses of paleontological data in geology; biostratigraphy, paleoecology, evolution, extinction, and biogeography; lab emphasis on identification and utilization of marine invertebrate fossils. (Required weekend field trip at student's expense.).

GEOL 341. Structural Geology. 4 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and GEOL 284 and GEOL 285 and (PHYS 101 or PHYS 111). Introduction to rock deformation processes and the interpretation of geologic structure, with applications to the structure and tectonic evolution of the Appalachian Mountains. (Several one-day field trips required.).

GEOL 342. Structural Geology for Engineers. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and PHYS 111. Introduction to rock deformation processes and the development and interpretation of geologic structures. (Several one-day field trips required.).

GEOL 351. Geomathematics. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and (MATH 154 or MATH 155). Mathematical methods and applications in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and environmental science. Review of basic mathematics, differential and integral calculus. Use of computers (Excel) as geological problem-solving tools.

GEOL 365. Environmental Geology. 3 Hours.

PR or CONC: GEOL 321. Principles, practice, and case histories in application of earth science to environmental problems. Includes: water quality; landslides; subsidence; waste disposal; legal aspects; and geological aspects of land-use planning. (Field trips and independent field project required.).

GEOL 373. Introduction to Petroleum Geology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101. Origin, geologic distribution, methods of exploration and exploitation, uses and future reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world.

GEOL 393A. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

GEOL 400. Environmental Practicum. 4 Hours.

PR: GEOL 200. Practical experience in collecting and evaluating data required to address the complex environmental issues facing environmental geoscientists. (Required field trip during spring break.).

GEOL 404. Geology Field Camp. 6 Hours.

PR: GEOL 285 and GEOL 341 and GEOL 311 and Consent. Practical experience in detailed geological field procedures and mapping. (Living expense in addition to tuition must be paid at time of registration.).

GEOL 411. Deep Time Earth Systems. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 103 and GEOL 104 and PR or CONC: GEOL 311. Interrelationships of Earth Systems - the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere - through space and time.

GEOL 454. Environmental and Exploration of Geophysics 1. 3 Hours.

PR: PHYS 102 and (MATH 156 or GEOL 351). Basic theory, computer modeling, and use of gravitational, magnetic, resistivity, and electromagnetic methods in the evaluation or shallow targets of interest to environmental, hydrological, and hazardous waste site investigations.

GEOL 455. Introduction to Remote Sensing. 3 Hours.

Theory, technology and applications of photo-interpretation and digital image analysis of aerial photography and multispectral images. (2 hr. lec., 1 hr. lab.) (Also listed as GEOG 455.).

GEOL 462. Introductory Hydrogeology. 3 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102) or (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111) and (MATH 126 and MATH 128) and (CHEM 110 or (CHEM 110A and CHEM 110B) or CHEM 111 or CHEM 115). Basic principles of hydrogeology, emphasizing geologic occurrence of ground water, vadose (soil) water, wells, springs, ground water interaction with streams, and ground-water chemistry, pollution, and pollution restoration.

GEOL 463. Physical Hydrogeology. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and MATH 126. Principles of ground-water hydrology, emphasizing the physical occurrence and movement of ground water. Topics include aquifer properties, flow net analysis, and hydraulic aquifer testing.

GEOL 466. Cave and Karst Geology. 3 Hours.

PR: (GEOL 101 and GEOL 102) or (GEOL 110 and GEOL 111) or (GEOG 110 and GEOG 111) and (CHEM 110 or (CHEM 110A and CHEM 110B) or CHEM 111 or CHEM 115). Study of the nature and origins of cave and karst landforms, terrains, geomorphology, hydrogeology, environmental hazards, and petroleum and mineral ore deposits. (Two required field trips.).

GEOL 469. Applied Hydrogeology Seminar. 1 Hour.

A review of professional practices and opportunities in hydrogeology. Seminar talks by hydrogeological professionals from WVU, industry, and government agencies. Field trips to examine hydrogeological practices and techniques.

GEOL 470. Mineral Resources. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 101 and GEOL 284. Description, mode of occurrence, and principles governing the formation of ore deposits.

GEOL 479. Log Analysis-Reading the Rocks. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. The Geosciences require knowledge of the sub-surface properties. Students learn the theory and practice behind a range of subsurface methods. Experience with challenges in geology.

GEOL 484. Minerals and the Environment. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 284 or GEOL 200. Study of the importance of minerals in human health and the environment. Includes examples of environmental problems that are caused by minerals and solutions to environmental problems that involve minerals.

GEOL 486. Environmental Isotopes. 3 Hours.

PR: CHEM 111 or CHEM 115. Isotopes are excellent natural tracers and integrators of important environmental, geological and ecological processes. Topics include basic principles of stable isotope geochemistry and their applications in environmental sciences, hydrology, plant/animal ecology, climate reconstruction, and energy.

GEOL 488. Environmental Geochemistry. 3 Hours.

PR: GEOL 351 and CHEM 116. Basic review of physical and aqueous chemistry, discussion of basic geochemical processes; calcium carbonate chemistry, digenetic processes, weathering, the silicate and iron system.

GEOL 489. Junior-Senior Seminar. 1 Hour.

The presentation and discussion of topics regarding graduate school and career preparation for geology majors. Grading will be Pass/Fail.

GEOL 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

GEOL 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

GEOL 492A-C. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and or research.

GEOL 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

GEOL 494A-B. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

GEOL 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

GEOL 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

GEOL 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.

GEOL 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.



  • J. Steven Kite - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)


  • Robert E. Behling - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
  • Timothy Carr - Ph.D.
    Sedimentary & Petroleum Geology
  • Joseph J. Donovan - Ph.D.
  • Gregory Elmes - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Trevor M. Harris - Ph.D. (University of Hull)
    Eberly Professor, Geographic Information science
  • Amy E. Hessl - Ph.D. (University of Arizona)
    Biogeography, Forest ecosystems
  • Thomas W. Kammer - Ph.D. (Indiana University)
    Centennial Professor of Paleontology
  • Henry W. Rauch - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Hydrogeology, geochemistry
  • John J. Renton - Ph.D.
  • Timothy A. Warner - Ph.D. (Purdue University)
    Remote Sensing
  • Thomas H. Wilson - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)

Associate Professors

  • Kathy Benison - Ph.D. (University of Kansas)
    Sedimentology and low-temperature geochemistry
  • Dengliang Gao - Ph.D. (Duke University)
  • Helen M. Lang - Ph.D.
    Mineralogy and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Jaime Toro - Ph.D.
    Structural Geology, Tectonics
  • Dorothy J. Vesper - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Aqueous geochemistry, Hydrogeology

Assistant professors

  • Jonathan Hall - Ph.D. (Ohio State)
    Conservation Ecology, Biogeography
  • Joseph Lebold - Ph.D.
    Geology education
  • Eungul Lee - Ph.D. (University of Colorado)
    Climate, Physical Geography
  • Brenden McNeil - Ph.D. (Syracuse University)
    GIScience, Environmental Modeling
  • Shikha Sharma - Ph.D.
    Isotope Geochemistry
  • Amy Weislogel - Ph.D. (Stanford University)
    Sedimentary geology

Professors Emeriti

  • Kenneth C. Martis - Ph.D. (University of Michigan)
    Electoral Geography
  • Richard Smosna - Ph.D. (University of Illinois)
    Oceanography & Carbonate Rocks

Clinical Assistant Professor

  • Rick Landenberger - Ph.D.
    Remote Sensing the Environment


  • Jonathan Hall - Ph.D.
    Ecology, Arid systems
  • Maria Perez - Ph.D. (University of Michigan)
    Human Geography, Science & Society, Speleology, Latin America