Experience first-hand the important and exciting field of geology through our diverse program offerings
Why study Geology?
Geoscientists study and assess global and local earth systems and contribute to prediction of future trends. They solve environmental issues, locate water, mineral, and energy resources, and predict and help understand, predict, and lessen risks of natural hazards and disasters.
Few disciplines in today's world play such a significant role in how society operates and what we can do to protect our future. Few fields of study can play such a profound role in protecting people's lives on a daily basis, whether you realize it or not. And few can bring together so many disparate ideas, from sciences to social sciences to humanities to the arts, like the study of the Earth can. (Dear College Students: You should take Geology https://www.wired.com/2016/08/dear-college-students-take-geology/)
Why study Geology at GVSU?
“There are few undergraduate geoscience programs that compare to GVSU. The opportunity for academic success, rigorous undergraduate research and positive mentoring relationships has been invaluable in my academic career.”
ERIC SCHUEMANN // GEOLOGY ALUMNUS, GRADUATE STUDENT
“This program offers so many opportunities to become academically involved and form close mentorship connections with faculty. The blend of geology and chemistry provides the knowledge and skills to prepare you for a range of successful career paths.”
HANNA SZYDLOWSKI // GEOLOGY-CHEMISTRY ALUMNA, GRADUATE STUDENT
“The Earth science program is not only the most comprehensive program of study I’ve participated in, but also the most well-rounded. I came into the program knowing very little about Earth science, but due to the active, hands-on, and engaging nature of the program, I emerged from the program as a person ready to enlighten others in the field.”
GERRY VERVAY // EARTH SCIENCE ALUMNUS, CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ACADEMY
Take an introductory course in GEO
In these courses you will build a better understanding of and your relationships to the earth systems that you inhabit. Finding solutions to many of our most pressing societal issues requires that we as global citizens understand the dynamic earth systems in which we live and our complex relationships to them. All of the introductory courses offered by the Geology department fulfill a General Education Physical Sciences requirement.
Students visiting LaRue Quarry (an excellent outcrop of the Cambrian-Precambrian unconformity) during a Fall 2021 field trip exploring the geology of the Baraboo district in Wisconsin.
Become a Geoscience Major or Minor
Join a vibrant and welcoming learning community of students and faculty. Our curriculum includes significant project-based learning that includes significant exposure to learning in the field and in the lab using a variety of instruments and analytical tools. The geoscientists’ need to use spatial analysis and consider problems in the context of deep time make them excellent critical thinkers and problems solvers. Most students engage in high-impact practices, including individual research with faculty. Our students are active in the department, running two faculty-mentored clubs and maintaining a student research space.
The Geology Department offers undergraduate B.S. degrees in Geology, Geochemistry, and Earth Science. Our graduates are well regarded and go on to outstanding graduate schools and/or find well-paid jobs in environmental science, hydrogeology, the energy and minerals industry, engineering geology, academic research, and K-12 teaching. We are a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Geology Department Highlights
Fossil Clues - GVSU Geology Research in South Carolina
A short video highlighting the work of a research team led by GVSU geology professor Ian Winkelstern
GVSU students studying water in the western United States
Geology Professor John Weber is co-author in Nature Portfolio paper
What do medically important snakes have to do with geology? Check out this interesting recent publication co-authored by Geology professor John Weber to learn more...
Image reference and link to full article: Jowers, M.J., Smart, U., Sánchez-Ramírez, S. et al. Unveiling underestimated species diversity within the Central American Coralsnake, a medically important complex of venomous taxa. Sci Rep 13, 11674 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-37734-5
A warm rememberance of Norman W. Ten Brink (1943–2023)
We are saddened by the loss of an outstanding geomorphologist and pioneer of the GVSU Geology program, Norm Ten Brink. Emeritus faculty member William (Bill) J. Neal along with alumni Alan Werner, and Christopher Waythomas recently published "A thoughtful tribute to Norman W. Ten Brink (1943–2023)" in AAAR. We hope you will take the time to read the full article (linked here) in remembrance of Norm and celebrate his amazing life and accomplishments.
Reference: William J. Neal, Alan Werner & Christopher F. Waythomas (2023) Memorial to Norman W. Ten Brink (1943–2023), Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 55:1, 2248844,
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/15230430.2023.2248844