| Major Areas of Study: GEOLOGY & EARTH SCIENCE
The Geology and Earth Science programs at Muskingum University are designed to help students develop a keen sense of observation and interpretation of geologic data, while preparing students for a variety of careers. Field work experience is encouraged in most courses, as is training in chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics.
Geology Department faculty encourage students to start the research experience as early as possible. Many sophomore and junior students have already had research experience and published their work in regional or national professional meetings. Examples of recent published student research include:
- A survey of major ion concentrations in surface water across a sequentially reclaimed surface mine, The Wilds, Southeastern Ohio: North-Central GSA, St. Louis, MO.
- Isopach and structural contour mapping of the lower Mississippian Berea Sandstone using GIS, Guernsey County, Ohio: North-Central GSA, St. Louis, MO.
Muskingum University faculty and students participate in professional activities and attend conferences throughout the region.
Elizabeth M. Bullard ('12) and Assistant Professor of Geology Dr. David Rodland were invited to present their research findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), in Portland, Oregon. They collaborated on Shell Size and Sclerobiont Colonization: Area Effects on Encrustation and Boring Frequency, Abundance, Diversity and Recruitment in Hard-Substrate Communities over the summer of 2009, and the paper was recently accepted for publication.
Sigma Gamma Epsilon was founded on March 30, 1915, at The University of Kansas, to recognize scholarship and professionalism in the Earth Sciences. Muskingum offers students the opportunity to participate in one of nearly 150 chapters throughout the United States.
A couple of student assistants are needed every semester, and, if qualified, students have the opportunity to serve as research assistants to faculty.
The Geology Department of Muskingum University is housed on the second floor of the Boyd Science Building. The department has (and has access to) excellent teaching and research facilities.
Where Geology Majors from Muskingum
- State Geological Survey
- National or state parks
- Petroleum companies
- Private consulting company
- Coal industry
- Natural history museums
- Universities, as faculty
- Secondary schools, teaching
Recent Geology graduates have enrolled in the following Graduate Schools:
- Ohio State University
- University of Akron
- Washington (MO) University
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Wisconsin
- University of Arizona
Heidi Landis ('15), a junior from New Waterford, Ohio, is majoring in geology and chemistry. She spent last summer at Northern Arizona University’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). During the eight-week session, Heidi “applied Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating to the lava flow of Strawberry Crater volcano in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona.”
“When quartz minerals are buried, the natural radiation around them causes them to slowly gain energy due to the movement of electrons in to higher-energy ‘traps.’ When exposed to light, heat, or certain radiation, the electrons are released from the traps along with energy that can be read as luminescence. The luminescence signal increases with the amount of time the sample was buried, so the amount of time since the burial of the grain can be calculated,” she explains further.
On campus, Heidi is involved in many clubs and organizations, including Cru and the Lighthouse, two Christian life organizations; Circle K, a volunteer organization; academic groups, including American Chemical Society, Geology Club, and ODK; and World Vision and the Muskingum Anime Group. She also attends Zumba and Kelley Coffeehouse, and works in the Student Success Center as a tutor.
Heidi found Muskingum through an online college search and, upon visiting campus, liked the size of the school. She is thankful for “the great community of students and professors; there is always someone to go to for help or advice.”