As a student of geology, you’ll study the forces that shape our planet, the physical history of those changes, the rocks that compose Earth and the ways biological, chemical and physical interactions affect the Earth.  At the basic level, the world is essentially geological, and geologists play a central role in understanding the structure and function of Earth.


Colby’s Geology Department originated in 1833 and is one of the oldest in nation. Geology majors and minors study different disciplines within geology as well as biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics to better understand the natural history of Earth. Faculty members have broad and deep research interests including paleoecology and climate change, glacial and Quaternary geology, structural geology and plate tectonics, the geology of meteorites, sedimentation and stratigraphy, and paleontology. Extensive laboratory facilities and research-grade equipment, including tools for coring samples, a scanning electron microscope with an x-ray diffractometer, an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, an elemental analyzer, and tools for rock and sediment processing, are available for student use in research collaborations with the faculty.

The Geology Department offers majors in geology and geoscience and a minor in geology. Students planning to pursue graduate study or employment in the field are encouraged to select the major in geology, while those who are interested in teaching or who discover an interest too late to complete the geology major have the option of geoscience or the geology minor.