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About the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Department History
Earth & Environmental Science has been an integral part of the University of Pacific since its early years. Courses in Geology and Mineralogy were requirements for upper division students in the late 1850s.  In 1890 there was a Department of Biology, Geology & Chemistry.  The first reference to Geology as a major appears in the 1915 Catalogue.  The Geology B.S. degree was established in 1954.  The department of Geology became the Department of Geology & Geography.  In 1999, based on outcomes from a program review, the department became the Department of Geosciences.  After the addition of the B.S. in Environmental Science (an outcome of a subsequent program review), the name was changed to Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences in 2008. In 2014 the department was renamed the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.

Faculty-Student Relationships
While our faculty are experts in their fields, they also maintain close interactions with students through the following:

  • Upper division courses with small class size (typically 10 to 20 students)
  • Direct involvement with faculty research projects
  • Faculty & students frequently present their research at conferences, keeping abreast of the latest issues and scientific developments.
  • Faculty open door policies: students can visit and talk with professors outside their scheduled office hours
  • Co-curricular activities: We are a close-knit department and the faculty provide a supportive environment for students

Broad Range of Expertise
Faculty members in the Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences encompass a broad spectrum of expertise in the field of geosciences, including:

  • Structural Geology & Tectonics
  • Geomorphology
  • Paleontology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Sedimentary Petrology
  • Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology
  • Hydrology
  • Geochemistry (High & Low Temperature, Stable Isotope, Contaminant)
  • Economic Geology
  • Historical Geology

Department Newsletter

These recent editions of our departmental newsletter will keep you connected to the ongoing adventures of the students, faculty and alumni of the Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences. Learn about our award-winning conference presentations, impressive undergraduate research achievements, amazing field trip adventures, and student awards. Alumni seeking versions of the newsletter with alumni news are encouraged to contact Dr. Burmeister.