Mission & Values


Provide a geoscience knowledge base and practical skills so students can make informed decisions and predictions regarding geologic issues, approach and solve scientific problems, teach earth science content, and be successful in graduate programs and ultimately in geoscience careers.


The geology department is a catalyst, creating a thriving geoscience community drawn from the faculty, students, public, alumni, and academia through the practice and encouragement of excellent teaching, scholarship, outreach, and geoscience literacy. Departmental (Geology, Earth Science, Geology-Chemistry) majors, Integrated Science majors and the broad General Education audience we serve come to understand basic earth materials and processes in the context of geologic time. Our educational vehicle is the earth, making field experiences paramount and learning to view the world as a scientist and communicate findings vital for an informed citizenry. Students completing the B.S. in Geology or Geology-Chemistry successfully compete for geoscience jobs and graduate schools and become confident, problem solving scientists actively raising the level of public and academic discourse on geological issues. Graduates with an Earth Science B.S. can effectively teach earth science content to a high school or middle school audience. Students completing a General Education Physical Sciences Foundation course or Theme course in Geology gain a broader earth perspective that better prepares them to understand many complex issues faced by society.


The geology department values student-centered teaching excellence that engages students in the process of science and critical thinking. We value a faculty that is actively engaged in basic and/or applied research, including the pursuit of funding to support research, creating opportunities for quality undergraduate research at a variety of levels, and publication in peer-reviewed venues. The department values and has a strong tradition of field-based and experiential education. The department values rigorous standards for teaching and learning. " The department regards quantitative literacy, ability to effectively use primary sources, and articulate and effective written and verbal communication as essential skills for our students. The department values the fostering of curiosity, creativity, competence, confidence, hard work and smart work, persistence, perseverance, and professional and scientific integrity among our students and modeling of these characteristics among faculty. The geology department values a diverse and collegial environment between and among faculty and students, in which students are both nurtured and challenged to explore, make mistakes, and try new experiences. The department values interdisciplinary and international experiences that lead to involvement in the broader GVSU community and beyond.

Page last modified July 30, 2022