Geoscience relates to the study of Earth’s processes involving the study
of rocks, minerals, soils, oceans, fresh water and atmosphere.
Geoscientists are individuals trained in multi-disciplinary fields of
science designed to assess Earth’s resources and to mitigate geohazards.
These geohazards may be due to natural phenomena such as earthquakes as
well as geohazards due to human impacts on Earth’s surface.
Geoscientists locate resources such as potable water, oil, gas and
metallic ore deposits, forecast the weather and model climate change,
develop land-use plans and geohazard maps, explore Earth’s remote
localities as well as other planets and the solar system. The geoscience
field is experiencing significant growth in response to an interplay of
increasing global consumption and decreasing availability of Earth
materials (minerals, rocks, soils and water) and energy resources, as
well as the recognition that resource extraction and use is profoundly
impacting our global environment and our global economy. Increasingly,
scientists, business and civic leaders and other concerned citizens
recognize the need to study Earth systems and the effects of human
UWSP’s bachelor’s degree in
geosciences addresses the need for baccalaureate prepared geoscientists
in the Upper Midwest that will integrate geoscience (environmental
geology, Earth materials, hydrogeology, structural geology and field
work), GIS and remote sensing. Why are these topics important to
Wisconsin students? Earth material extraction in quarries and gravel
pits throughout Wisconsin are essential to the construction of roadways,
office buildings and airport expansion projects. Groundwater and
surface water resources must be monitored and protected from overuse and
contamination. Gas and oil wells continue to pump hydrocarbons from the
Michigan basin. Continued rise in gas prices will result in a greater
demand for geoscience skills as energy companies expand their research
and development operations in the Midwest and throughout the world.
Metal prices have risen largely due to the increased demand in countries
such as China and India. The active mining of metallic ores continues
in our neighboring states of Minnesota and Michigan. Meanwhile,
Wisconsin hosts among the largest undeveloped copper and zinc deposits
in North America. Clearly resource exploration will continue for the
foreseeable future in the Upper Midwest.
The Geoscience major consists of a minimum of 59 credits, including 18
credits of core courses, 6 credits of geospatial techniques, 4 credits of
mathematics, 10 credits of natural science, 3 credits of human interactions and
18 credits of geoscience electives.
Core Courses. 18 credits: GEOL 104, 106, 393 or GEOG 393a,
GEOL 490 or 491, GEOG 101 and 279.
aMay only be taken with Geoscience coordinator
or department chair approval
Techniques. At least six credits from: GEOG
276, 377, 379, 390, 472, 476, 479.
3. Mathematics. At least four credits from: MATH 111, 118,
120, 121, 355.
4. Natural Science. At least ten credits from: CHEM 105, 106,
117, PHYS 201, 202, 203, 204, BIOL 101, 130, 160.
5. Human Interactions. At least three credits from: GEOG
340, 344, 358, 335 or GEOL 335, GEOL 330.
6. Geoscience Electives. At least 18 credits from: GEOG 340a,
344a, GEOG 335a or GEOL 335a, GEOG 352 or GEOL
352, GEOG 353, 354, 358a, 390a, GEOL 300, 310, 320, 330a,
370, 383, GEOG 391b or GEOL 391, GEOG 395b or GEOL 395,
GEOG 399b or GEOL 399, GEOG 480b or GEOL 480, GEOG 485b
or GEOL 485, GEOL 487, NRES 220 or WATR 220, NRES 251, SOIL 362, WATR 389.
aIf not taken to fulfill Categories 2 or 5
bMay only be taken with Geoscience coordinator
or department chair approval